Warming Oceans – Georgios Ardavanis (Ph.D.)

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link of the above image: https://www.shapeoflife.org/resources/climate-change

Warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding times and shift homes with expected substantial consequences for the broader marine landscape, according to some research reports produced by Professor Camille Parmesan, Professor Mike Burrows, and Dr. Rippa Moore. The oceans match the changes occurring on land. Specifically, the evidence showed that the leading edge or “front line” of some marine species. such as phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bony fish, are moving toward the poles at the average rate of 72 km per decade, which is considerably faster than the terrestrial average of 6 km per decade. However, sea surface temperatures are warming three times slower than land temperatures.

Further, scientists have found that spring phenology in the oceans had advanced by more than four days, nearly twice the figure for phenological advancement on land. The strength of species varied among species, but again, scientific research showed that the most incredible response in invertebrate zooplankton and bony larval fish is up to 11 days in advancement.  

Scientists believe that most of the effects that we already saw were as expected from climate change. So, most shifts in the distributions of, say, fishes and corals were towards the poles, and most events in springtime, like spawning, were earlier.

Some of the most convincing evidence that climate change is the primary driver behind the observed changes could be found in footprints that showed, for example, opposing responses in warm-water and cold-water species within a community; and similar responses from discrete populations at the same edge.

In conclusion, various types of research have shown that a wide range of marine organisms, which inhabit the intertidal to the deep-sea and are found from the poles to the tropics, have responded to recent climate change by changing their distribution, phenology, or demography. These results highlight the urgent need for governments worldwide to develop adaptive management plans to ensure the continued sustainability of the world’s oceans and the goods and services they provide to human society.

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