Kris Holderied, who directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, says the ocean’s increasing acidity is “the reason fishermen stop me in the grocery store.”
“They say, ‘You’re with the NOAA lab, what are you doing on ocean acidification?’ ” Holderied said. “This is a coastal town that depends on this ocean, and this bay.”
This town in southwestern Alaska dubs itself the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. But worries about the changing chemical balance of the ocean and its impact on the fish has made an arcane scientific buzzword common parlance here, along with the phrase “corrosive waters.”
In the past five years, the fact that human-generated carbon emissions are making the ocean more acidic has become an urgent cause of concern to the fishing industry and scientists.
The ocean absorbs about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide we put in the air through…
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