By the Numbers: A Marine Advisory- page 2 | 40th Anniversary | Smithsonian
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Nancy Knowlton is a marine biologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a leading authority on coral reefs. (Christian Ziegler)

By the Numbers: A Marine Advisory

Scientists say the outlook for the world's oceans is bleak—unless we stop overfishing and reduce air and water pollution

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Nancy Knowlton, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a leading authority on coral reefs, says a significant increase in ocean acidity puts virtually all marine animal species at risk. That’s because acid can kill larval fish and shellfish and keep corals and animals at the base of the marine food web from building skeletons. “In the long term,” Knowlton says, “if we don’t deal with carbon dioxide emissions, we’re in real trouble.”

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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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