Tool to help track changes in ocean chemistry

Tool to help track changes in ocean chemistry

SEATTLE (AP) - A new research tool is allowing scientists to better track changes in ocean chemistry along the U.S. West Coast.

The tool launched this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides real-time ocean acidification data along the coast and in some protected bays.

University of Washington oceanographer Jan Newton led the collaborative effort. She says the information can help shellfish growers make decisions about when and how to grow shellfish. It also acts as an early warning system about ocean acidification along the West Coast.

Acidification is caused when oceans absorb carbon-dioxide emissions, mostly from the atmosphere. Research has shown souring seas have damaged certain marine organism such as oysters and corals.

The data comes from sensors installed at shellfish farms and hatcheries and other monitoring sites in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska and Hawaii.

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