Researchers from the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel released a report this month that projects dire changes to ocean chemistry and marine life, and recommends ways to avert it, including restoring kelp forests and eelgrass beds and combating marine pollution.
The panel convened in 2013 to study how global carbon emissions are lowering pH and reducing oxygen levels in the ocean off the West Coast.
"Although ocean acidification is a global phenomenon, emerging research indicates that the U.S.-Canadian West Coast will face some of the earliest, most severe changes in ocean carbon chemistry," the report says.
Because of the way the Pacific Ocean circulates, the West Coast is exposed to more acidic water than other areas of the globe. Oyster production in the Pacific Northwest has already declined, as changes in ocean chemistry tamper with shell formation, and scientists warn that popular game fish and other species are also at risk.
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