Natural CO2 vents on the floor of the ocean cause increased acidity in their neighborhood. Examining these microcosms gives a suggestion of what the sea floor could look like in 2100: a nice, green lawn. This particular locale features cool CO2 vents, so is particularly interesting. One researcher described diving at the site as "swimming through champagne."
Clip and story courtesy of NewScientist.
Jason Hall-Spencer and colleagues from the University of Plymouth are studying this natural phenomemon off the coast of Southern Italy, in what they describe as a Jacuzzi-like environment. Among other observations: limpets with "paper-thin" shells, an absence of coralline algae and sea urchins.
"Natural CO2 seeps are usually associated with hot vents. TheIschia site offers an usual opportunity to study cool, acidifiedecosystems that are not modified by the toxic effects of sulphur."
The rest of the NewScientist article, published June 8, is available here.