02 May 2014
Science: The shells of snails and other pteropods living in the Pacific Ocean off the US West Coast are showing signs of damage. Of the samples of the species Limacina helicina collected in 2011 from 13 sites between Washington State and southern California, more than half exhibited severe shell dissolution, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The shells’ pitted textures are a sign of rising ocean acidification, caused by the increasing amounts of anthropogenic carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere. How the damaged pteropod populations will affect the broader ecosystem has yet to be determined.