NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Ocean acidity dissolving snail shell. Unhealthy specimen of the pteropod Limacina helicina, a type of free-swimming pelagic sea snail. This snail has a glass-like (hylaine) shell that has turned cloudy, has weak spots (opaque markings) and ragged, dissolving shell ridges. This image is for comparison with C022/6517, which shows a healthy snail. The shell is being dissolved by increasing ocean acidity due to carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from human sources. Ocean acidification is predicted to have a disastrous effect on marine ecosystems. The results of this research were published in 2014.
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