London: Oysters and mussels could disappear over the next century because the oceans are becoming increasingly acidic.
Dr John Baxter, the co-editor of an international report into the acidification of the world``s seas, said increasing levels of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by industrialised countries was gradually changing the acid level of waters across the world.
If the trend continued, the shells of thousands of species would be eroded and the creatures eventually wiped out - creating a huge knock-on effect on other fish and marine life, reports The Scotsman.
Certain types of plankton at the bottom of the marine food chain and coral reefs would also face serious ecological damage.
The Arctic Ocean is expected to be the first to reach a dangerous level of acidification with 10 per cent of its area hitting the threshold at which damage will occur by the end of this decade.
"The only way around this is for the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere to be reduced,” Baxter said.
"To a certain extent, this can be done by carbon capture - when carbon released from power stations is trapped underneath the seabed and stopped from being released into the atmosphere - but, other than that, we just have to start using less fossil fuel.”