Oceans are acidifying faster than scientists can keep up, and researchers are blaming it all on us. In a recent report out of the United Kingdom, scientists are witnessing major disruptions in key food chains, affecting black folks’ beloved shellfish — shrimp, clams, and oysters just to name a few.
The British Antarctic Survey says that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that then falls into our oceans affects the size and weight of shells and skeletons (No wonder Red Lobster has largest popcorn shrimp in the nation!).
According to researchers, when they pulled samples from oceans that were more acidic, they observed that some shellfish were having a harder time building skeletons due to the temperature change and pressure in the ocean.
“This effect is strongest at low temperatures and the results showed polar species to have the smallest and lightest skeleton, suggesting that they may be more at risk in the coming decades as the oceans change.”
On an encouraging note, just like in Jurassic Park, life finds a way to deal with human intervention. In certain regions, some of the shellfish adapted to the rising temperatures although researchers warn that this may not be the case for all species.
“If there is time for species to evolve in temperate and tropical regions it is one way they may be able to overcome some of the future effects of ocean acidification.”
The main purpose of this study was to predict what future oceans may look like if we continue down our current destructive ecological path. So, there is no reason to ditch your shrimp scampi just yet, but if this research comes to fruition, and it most likely will, we all may be forced to eat tofu-based shrimp (it’s not that bad, trust me!).