Acid Test: U.W. focuses on climate change and ocean acidification

As the climate warms, our oceans become more acidic and the UW is studying how that impacts sea life.

Everyone in an entire building at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island is focused on one thing: ocean acidification. They call it the OA lab, and it's currently using a small ocean observatory in the harbor to monitor the acidification of the water, everything from carbon dioxide in the water to oxygen to temperature.

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It turns out the inland waters of the Northwest, often collectively referred to as the Salish Sea, are naturally one of the more acidic parts of the oceans, and is considered a good place to learn about the unfolding problem of acidification, and how it affects marine life.

Ocean acidification is tied to climate change, because as more carbon pours into the atmosphere, some of it is absorbed into the world's oceans, making it more acidic.

Related: UW to catalog every fish species in world

This is the same UW research complex charged with cataloguing every fish species in the world - more than 66,000 of them.