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Brittle arms lose muscle

In the future, sea creatures may pay to build with calcium carbonate

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6:13pm, May 6, 2008

Brittle stars may end up with less star power as greenhouse gases change ocean chemistry.

As human activity increases concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air, ocean chemistry is changing, says Hannah L. Wood of Plymouth Marine Laboratory in England. The pH of seawater, now around 8.1, is dipping closer to the acidic side, changing the supplies of various forms of carbon that sea creatures like corals and brittle stars need to form the hard parts of their bodies.

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