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The dramatically high acidity of the Pacific began to separate crab shells



World oceans absorb about 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. This means that as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, so does its level in seawater, which leads to an increase in its acidity. A recent study showed that this parameter has already reached lethal values ​​for some species of crab.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has funded a new expedition to study the crab population of the species Metacarcinus magister. This is a valuable commercial seafood, the basis of crab production in the North-West of the USA, a significant item of local income. And it was these crabs that were among the first candidates for extinction due to increased acidity of the ocean.

Comparing the data for 2016 and 2019, scientists found more numerous defects in the larval, most vulnerable stage of crabs. Some individuals had structural damage to the carapace, while others lacked sensory hairs for orientation in space, and others simply were much smaller and weaker than normal values. The reason, according to the researchers, is the increased acidity of the water.



It's too early to talk about the extinction of crabs, the damage turned out to be reversible, but creatures will have to spend a lot of body resources on restoration. As a result, fewer individuals will reach the adult stage and in the long run the population of these crabs will decrease significantly. So much so that it will raise the question of the continued existence of the crab mining industry in this region, which will affect many thousands of local residents.

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