Can Evolution Beat Climate Change?: Scientific American | "3e" | Energy - Ecology - Economy |
The purple sea urchin may be able to evolve to cope with ocean acidification, but that does not mean other species will be able to mimic the trick


The oceanic pincushion known as the purple sea urchin relies on its many spines and pincers for protection and food. An inability to form its spiny shell would devastate the species, which thrives on rocky shores off North America’s west coast. Unfortunately for the purple sea urchin, higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as a result of human fossil-fuel burning presage a more acidic ocean that might make it harder to form such shells.