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Posted Fri Apr 9 2010: from Alaska Journal of Commerce:
Research expands to 'sister' issue of global warming
Rising temperatures and sea levels, melting glaciers and extreme weather dominate the discussion on global warming, but a parallel issue with potentially tremendous impact on Alaska's coastal waters is finally gaining attention. Increased research into ocean acidification caused by the saturation of water with carbon dioxide is the focus of Jeremy Mathis of University of Alaska Fairbanks, who stepped onto the national stage for the first time recently in a briefing to a mix of Congressmen, Senators and staffers in Washington, D.C.... A positive response from holders of the purse strings is essential to making up research ground on ocean acidification, which Mathis calls a "sister" or co-equal problem to global warming. Studies of its potential effects on the food chain are few and the lack of baseline data on ocean pH levels is a stark contrast to decades of temperature monitoring from stations positioned around the globe.... A decrease in these mineral levels to food web base species like pteropods, also known as sea butterflies, which make up 45 percent of the diet for juvenile pink salmon, can cause cascading waves of disruption up the food chain. Mathis' research shows a 10 percent decline in pteropod production can lead to a 20 percent reduction in the body weight of mature salmon....
[Read more stories about: ocean acidification, carbon sinks, coal issues, carbon emissions]

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