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TILLAMOOK -- Scientists are blaming slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters, caused by global warming, for the failure of oyster larvae to survive in an Oregon hatchery.

They say the increasing acid levels that come with more carbon dioxide makes it harder for young oysters to form their shells, dooming them in a matter of days.

The study appears in the online edition of the journal Limnology and Oceanography.

Lead author Alan Barton, production manager at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, says the study was the first to take the issue out of the laboratory and look at real-life conditions.

He adds that oyster farms up and down the Oregon coast have been hit by the problem.

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