Caribbean clams were able to survive in the acidified ocean.

Corals, like other living organisms, suffer from an increase in ocean acidity caused by rising levels of

carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere. A huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is daily absorbed by the oceans. When this happens, chemical reactions lower the pH of sea water, making it more acidic. This, in turn, reduces the amount of calcium carbonate present in the water that corals need to form their shell and grow.

An international team of scientists had intended to studythe impact that the long-term effects of high acidity of the ocean can have on three species of coral in the Caribbean. Researchers transplanted samples of corals in areas along the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where water from underwater sources lowered the pH of the surrounding sea water. According to the researchers, the environment in this area is even more acidic than predicted in 2100 in the oceans of the Earth.

Representatives of the species participated in the experiment.Siderastrea siderea, Porites asteoides and Porites porites. The first coped best with the changed conditions, while the survival rates of the second and third types decreased by 20% and 77%, respectively.

When all the surviving corals were able to grow, the researchers found that their skeleton density decreased by 15–30% compared with their relatives who live in other parts of the sea.

Earlier, biologists from the Lausanne Polytechnic School discovered a species of coral, which not only does not suffer from global climate change, but is also able to produce offspring.