Ocean Warming Forces Marine Species To Migrate Towards The Poles

Marine species such as the Imperial Penguin are decimated due to the ocean warming. It might feel like nothing for us, but one degree Celsius can be the beginning of the end for plankton, marine invertebrates, fish, and seabirds.

The emergence and development of the industry led to the one-degree change, and it is estimated that by 2050 it will take it up to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A new study reveals devastating consequences for half of marine life. The half closer to the Equator that has no place further north to withdraw.

It looks like since the ocean warming has begun, many marine species migrated towards the poles, in search or a colder environment. The European seabass went to their poleward edge, where the water temperature suits them. Back in the pre-industrial era, that would be as unbelievable as seeing a penguin at the Mediterranean Sea. But not all the species have this possibility, the study reveals.

Marine Species Are Moving Towards The Poles To Tackle Ocean Warming

The researchers involved studied the literature and traced the migration of 304 marine species over the last century. Samples of the same species showed different levels of abundance. They split the species’ range into poleward and equatorward. The samples closer to the poles proved to be more abundant than the ones closer to the Equator. Species moving off the sea will also interfere with coastal livelihoods.

“This matters because it means that climate change is not only leading to abundance changes but intrinsically affecting the performance of species locally,” says Martin Genner, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Bristol and senior author of the study.

The study on the effects of ocean warming is far from being over as the researchers only investigated well-studied regions of the world. Until all the areas of the world become an object for the same study, some questions remain unanswered, says Genner. “Is this mainly related to the physiological limits of the marine species, or instead due to changes in the species with which they interact?”

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