CO2 Levels Are Super-Sizing Crabs
Crustaceans bulk up as carbon levels rise
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2013 3:27 AM CDT
Updated Apr 8, 2013 4:03 AM CDT
Blue crabs sit in a box after being harvested in the waters around Delacroix, La.    (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)

(Newser) – Carbon emissions usually make news for their effect on the climate, but they're also having a major impact on marine ecosystems in the form of creating huge crustaceans, the Washington Post finds. In the Chesapeake Bay area and many others, oyster and scallop populations are dropping as crabs—who are able to grow their shells much faster in high-carbon conditions—become bigger and more numerous.

"Higher levels of carbon in the ocean are causing oysters to grow slower, and their predators—such as blue crabs—to grow faster," a marine geologist explains. Lobsters and shrimp are also getting bigger as carbon levels rise, while coral is being killed off. The shift is bad news for places like the Chesapeake Bay, where oysters play a vital role in cleaning polluted waters, and may not even be such good news for crab lovers: Crabs that bulk up on carbon don't put the same energy into growing flesh so they aren't any meatier.

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Showing 3 of 41 comments
Apr 10, 2013 9:47 AM CDT
So, your story is about "super sized" crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, but your photos are of normal crabs from Louisiana. Nice job of backing up the "facts" in your article. Can't wait for your bigfoot story complete with pictures of bears from the local zoo.
Apr 9, 2013 11:49 PM CDT
Checking the saturation of the CO2 level is not a hard thing. What really came to mind first off was "Monsanto" I know! Really, could anyone blame me for that thought jumping out front?
Apr 9, 2013 10:03 PM CDT
First the sharks of Bikini Atoll, then the earthworms of Chernobyl, now this?! Maybe that goofy petition to ask the president to build a Death Star wasn't so goofy afterall... Destroy the planet now, get it over with. People seemed determined to do so!!!