Scientists are blaming slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster larvae to survive in an Oregon hatchery.
They say the increasing acid levels in the water that comes with more carbon dioxide makes it harder for young oysters to form their shells, dooming them in a matter of days.
The study appears in the online edition of the journal Limnology and Oceanography.
Lead author Alan Barton, production manager at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery on Netarts Bay, says the study was the first to take the issue out of the laboratory and look at real-life conditions in ocean water.
He adds that oyster farms up and down the coast have been hit by the problem.
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