Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pacific Ocean Unwell

Research fresh off a boat that docked Thursday in Alaska reveals some frightening changes taking place in the Pacific Ocean.

As humans are pumping out more carbon dioxide that is helping to warm the planet, the ocean has been doing yeoman's work to lessen the effects - but it's taking a toll.

Over time, the changes could have an impact that ripples through the food chain, from microscopic plants that can't grow right to salmon and whales unable to find enough to eat.

The Pacific is getting warmer and more acidic, while the amount of oxygen and the building blocks for coral and some kinds of plankton are decreasing, according to initial results from scientists with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the University of Washington and elsewhere. . . .

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