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Ocean reflux

Corrosive seawater burps up temporarily

Seawater with the potentially shell-disrupting chemistry predicted for the open ocean after 2050 has already surfaced along North America’s West Coast, scientists report.

In spring 2007, the corrosive, deep water rose temporarily to the Pacific surface some 40 kilometers roughly west of the California-Oregon border, says Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. Elsewhere on the continental shelf, corrosive water rolled up but didn’t surge all the way to the surface, Feely and his colleagues report in an upcoming Science.

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