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Increased ocean acidification in Alaska waters may damage marine life.

Byline: ANI

Washington, August 14 (ANI): New findings indicate that Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage the region's king crab king crab: see crab; horseshoe crab.
king crab
 or Alaskan king crab or Japanese crab

Marine decapod (Paralithodes camtschatica), an edible crab.
 and salmon fisheries.

Jeremy Mathis, a University of Alaska Fairbanks UAF is home to seven major research units: the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; the Geophysical Institute, which operates the Poker Flat Research Range; the International Arctic Research Center; the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center; the Institute of Arctic Biology; the  scientist, made the finding.

This spring, Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater seawater

Water that makes up the oceans and seas. Seawater is a complex mixture of 96.5% water, 2.5% salts, and small amounts of other substances. Much of the world's magnesium is recovered from seawater, as are large quantities of bromine.
 samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska Noun 1. Gulf of Alaska - a gulf of the Pacific Ocean between the Alaska Peninsula and the Alexander Archipelago
Pacific, Pacific Ocean - the largest ocean in the world
.

When he tested the samples' acidity in his lab, the results were higher than expected.

They show that ocean acidification is likely more severe and is happening more rapidly in Alaska than in tropical waters.

The results also matched his recent findings in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

"It seems like everywhere we look in Alaska's coastal oceans, we see signs of increased ocean acidification," said Mathis.

Often referred to as the "sister problem to climate change," ocean acidification is a term to describe increasing acidity in the world's oceans. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure.  (CO2) from the air.

As the ocean absorbs more CO2, seawater becomes more acidic. Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago.

"The increasing acidification acidification

a technology used by processors to preserve foods by adding acids (such as acetic, citric, phosphoric, propionic and lactic acid) and thereby reduce the risk of growth of harmful bacteria.
 of Alaska waters could have a destructive effect on all of our commercial fisheries. This is a problem that we have to think about in terms of the next decade instead of the next century," said Mathis.

The ocean contains minerals that organisms like oysters and crabs use to build their shells.

Ocean acidification makes it more difficult to build shells, and in some cases the water can become acidic enough to break down existing shells.

Mathis' recent research in the Gulf of Alaska uncovered multiple sites where the concentrations of shell-building minerals were so low that shellfish and other organisms in the region would be unable to build strong shells.

"Early results have shown that when some species of crabs and fish are exposed to more acidic water, certain stress hormones increase and their metabolism slows down. If they are spending energy responding to acidity changes, then that energy is diverted away from growth, foraging and reproduction," said Mathis.

Mathis said that it is still unclear what the full range of effects of ocean acidification will be, but that it is a clear threat to Alaska's commercial fisheries and subsistence communities.

"Ecosystems in Alaska are going to take a hit from ocean acidification. Right now, we don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 how they are going to respond," he added. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Aug 14, 2009
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