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Imagine a world without fish.

That's the tagline of the documentary A Sea Change. It may sound like an exaggerated threat meant to grab your attention and get you into a theater, but as the main character finds out during the course of the film, it could become a scary reality.

A Sea Change follows retired history teacher Sven Huseby as he tries to understand the implications of ocean acidification and the actions we need to take to slow or reverse the process. Through interviews with scientists and his own dogged research, Huseby learns that the excess carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere - and as a result, the oceans - is already starting to cause problems for organisms with calcium carbonate-based shells or skeletons, like corals, crustaceans, and shellfish - and a certain lentil-sized planktonic snail that plays a vital role in the marine food chain.

But the film is more than just a "global warming horror documentary," as one reviewer put it. At the heart of A Sea Change is a curious citizen hoping to protect the ocean he loves for his grandson's generation. Can he (and the rest of us) do it? The story's ending has yet to be written.

Read a full review of the film on Grist.org.

Sarah van Schagen is the Seattle Editor for Grist.org, an environmental news website with a sense of humor.

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