A new study has revealed for the first time that marine life is disturbed due to climate change. Even the heat in the water on the equator and tropics has increased so much that the species of marine life has gone away from there.
The number of open water species found in equatorial waters has halved in the last 40 years and the reason is that the waters of the equator have become too hot for some species to survive. This dramatic shift in species has major consequences for ecosystems and those dependent on marine life for seafood and tourism.
As predicted, the number of species has decreased at the equator and increased in the sub-tropics since the 1950s due to global warming. In all 48,661 species, this issue was found when they resided in the ocean floor (benthic) and in open water (pelagic), fish, molluscs and crustaceans.
The results of research conducted by the University of Auckland showed that the Pelagic race moved more towards the Pole in the Northern Hemisphere than the Benthic. A similar change did not occur in the Southern Hemisphere because warming in the Northern Hemisphere sea, compared to the South, was greater.
Previously, the tropics were considered to be stable and of an ideal temperature for life as there are many species found there. Now, we realize that the tropics are not very stable and are too hot for many species.
The study was the culmination of lead author Chhaya Chaudhary’s PhD (PhD) at the University of Auckland and was based on several studies in a research group detailing literature on particular taxonomic groups including crustaceans, fish and insects and The data was studied.
The data was obtained from the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), an independently accessible online world database, founded by University Professor Mark Costello, a global marine exploration program from the 2000s to 2010s. Census of Marine Life, as part of. Records of when and where the species was reported were reported in latitudinal bands and a statistical model was used to account for variation in samples.
Last year, Professor Costello co-authored a study that reported that while marine biodiversity peaked at the equator during the last ice age, 20,000 years ago, it had already leveled before industrial global warming. That study used the fossil record of marine plankton buried in deep-sea sediments to track changes in diversity over thousands of years.
This latest study on the decadal timescale (the time scale of decades) shows that this leveling has continued over the last century, and now the number of species has decreased at the equator. These studies, and in other advances, show that the number of marine species declines when annual average sea temperatures rise above 20 to 25 Celsius (varying with different types of species).
Professor Costello, one of the lead authors of the current Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the findings are important.
“Our work shows that human-based climate change has already affected marine biodiversity globally in all types of species. Climate change is with us now, and its pace is accelerating.
“We can predict a general shift in species diversity, but due to the complexity of ecological interactions it is unclear how species abundance and fishery (fish) rearing will change with climate change.”