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Sunday, 29 July 2018

Acidic oceans cause fish to lose their sense of smell




Fish are losing their sense of smell because of increasingly acidic oceans caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, new research shows.
When carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater carbonic acid is formed, making the water more acidic. Since the Industrial Revolution, oceanic CO2 has risen by 43 percent and is predicted to be two and a half times current levels by the end of this century.
Fish use their sense of smell (olfaction) to find food, safe habitats, avoid predators, recognize each other and find suitable spawning grounds. A reduction in their ability to smell therefore can compromise these essential functions for their survival.
The study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The new study provides evidence that economically important species will be affected by elevated CO2, leaving fish vulnerable because it affects their ability to detect odours.

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