Climate Change and Our Oceans

Climate Change and Its Effect On Our Oceans

According to WWF article, marine problems from climate change: “The marine environment is already registering the impacts of climate change. The current increase in global temperature of 0.7°C since pre-industrial times is disrupting life in the oceans, from the tropics to the poles” (http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/climate_change/).

Marine species affected by climate change include plankton, which forms the basis of marine food chains, other species affected are corals, fish, polar bears, walruses, seals, sea lions, penguins, and seabirds.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a further rise of between 1.4°C and 5.8°C by the end of the century. Climate change could therefore well be the knock-out punch for many species which are already under stress from overfishing and habitat loss.

The article goes on to list the main impacts of global warming on our oceans. Fish species are moving into deeper oceans due to rising water temperatures, as it “affects their metabolism, life cycle and behaviour”.

According to the FAO http://www.fao.org/fishery/climatechange/en “Some 540 million people depend on fisheries and aquaculture as a source of protein and income.”

“Fishers, fish farmers and coastal inhabitants will bear the full force of these impacts through less stable livelihoods, changes in the availability and quality of fish for food, and rising risks to their health, safety and homes. Many fisheries-dependent communities already live a precarious and vulnerable existence because of poverty, lack of social services and essential infrastructure. The fragility of these communities is further undermined by overexploited fishery resources and degraded ecosystems. The implications of climate change for food security and livelihoods in small island states and many developing countries are profound.”

 

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