Now Our Carbon Emissions Are Threatening to Kill Off Delicious Shellfish
Ocean Acidification could affect oysters from up north, and in our own gulf.
The list of food things that could potentially be harmed by increased carbon emissions is growing, and the latest addition really hits where it hurts. A new report in Nature Climate Change suggests oysters, mussels and other delicious bivalves could be threatened by the carbon we keep pumping into the atmosphere.
Carbon emissions are generally known for their contribution to global warming. But the same emissions have been absorbed by our oceans, where they have had a measurable impact on acidity. The effect of manmade carbon emission on acidity is low right now, but it's trending in the wrong direction. And even at these low levels bivalves have already been impacted.
Bivalves use calcium in the water to build their shells, and acidic water interferes with this process. Oysters, mussels, scallops and other bivalves -- basically the contents of the 20 Feet kitchen -- are the most sensitive to ocean acidity, though crabs and other crustaceans could also be effected.
The report calls out the Gulf as especially sensitive to higher pH levels as run-off from rivers adds extra acid to the mix. Making matters worse, the region suffers from a lack of biodiversity, which hurts species' ability to adapt to shitty conditions.
So you might want to increase your po' boy consumption over the next few years. While the chances of a catastrophic population collapse is small, there's a real chance populations could be negatively impacted. Expect acidity-deniers to dismiss this theory as MSM rubbish, citing the scallops they had the night before.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.