Climate change shrinks marine life richness near equator: study
GS PAPER III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Context: Research published finds that the total number of open-water species declined by about half in the 40 years up to 2010 in tropical marine zones worldwide.
- During that time, sea surface temperatures in the tropics rose nearly 0.2℃.
- There is mounting evidence that the warming of waters due to climate change may be taking a large toll as well — both off the island’s coast and globally.
- Climate change is already impacting marine species diversity distribution,” with changes being more dramatic in the Northern Hemisphere where waters have warmed faster.
- While numerous factors like overfishing have impacted tropical species, there is a strong correlation between species decline and rising temperature.
- Fish species diversity tended to either plateau or decline at or above 20℃.
‘Blink of an eye’
- Ocean warming is driving some species to migrate to cooler waters.
- The number of species attached to the seafloor remained somewhat stable in the tropics between the 1970s and 2010.