According to an international team of researchers, the rapid pace of climate change is threatening the future presence of fish near the equator.
“Our studies found that one species of fish could not even survive in water just three degrees Celsius warmer than what it lives in now,” says the lead author of the study, Dr Jodie Rummer from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University.
Dr Rummer and her colleagues studied six common species of fish living on coral reefs near the equator. She says many species in this region only experience a very narrow range of temperatures over their entire lives, and so are likely adapted to perform best at those temperatures.
This means climate change places equatorial marine species most at risk, as oceans are projected to warm by two to three degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
“Such an increase in warming leads to a loss of performance,” Dr Rummer explains. “Already, we found four species of fish are living at or above the temperatures at which they function best.”
The team measured the rates at which fish use oxygen, the fuel for metabolism, across different temperatures – at rest and during maximal performance. According to the results, at warmer temperatures fish lose scope for performance. In the wild, this would limit activities crucial to survival, such as evading predators, finding food, and generating sufficient energy to breed.
Because many of the Earth’s equatorial populations are now living close to their thermal limits, there are dire consequences ahead if these fish cannot adapt to the pace at which oceans are warming.
Dr Rummer suggests there will be declines in fish populations as species may move away from the equator to find refuge in areas with more forgiving temperatures.
“This will have a substantial impact on the human societies that depend on these fish,” she says.
A concentration of developing countries lies in the equatorial zone, where fish are crucial to the livelihoods and survival of millions of people, including those in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
In an era of rapid climate change, understanding the link between an organism and its environment is crucial to developing management strategies for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of marine fisheries.
“This is particularly urgent when considering food security for human communities.”
The Latest on: Warmer oceans
via Google News
The Latest on: Warmer oceans
- What's the real flooding threat at the Shore? New study shows risk to your Monmouth, Ocean homeon June 29, 2020 at 2:47 am
Federal flood maps overestimate the number of homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties that are vulnerable to flooding, according to a new analysis by a nonprofit foundation that looks at the impact of ...
- Oceans can feed our future world, if we do it righton June 26, 2020 at 2:00 pm
For seafood to be a sustainable part of the solution, we must make progress in sustainable fisheries, enhance our management systems to address shifting ocean conditions caused by climate change and ...
- Climate impacts of a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in a warming climateon June 26, 2020 at 11:58 am
While the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is projected to slow down under anthropogenic warming, the exact role of the AMOC in future climate change has not been fully quantified.
- Siberia heat wave: why the Arctic is warming so much faster than the rest of the worldon June 25, 2020 at 8:25 am
On the eve of the summer solstice, something very worrying happened in the Arctic Circle. For the first time in recorded history, temperatures reached 38°C (101°F) in a remote Siberian town—18°C ...
- ‘Hot start’ theory says Pluto once had a surface oceanon June 24, 2020 at 7:25 pm
New research suggests Pluto once had an ocean on its surface. Evidence for the theory comes from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft which spotted unique cracks on the dwarf planet’s ...
- Ocean on Jupiter’s Moon Europa ‘Could Be Habitable’on June 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm
We may not have to go far in our search for extraterrestrial life: Researchers at NASA have uncovered new data that life may have the potential to exist in the oceans of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
- Pluto Has Likely Maintained an Underground Liquid Ocean for Billions of Yearson June 23, 2020 at 2:56 pm
The discovery hints that subsurface oceans are common in the outer solar system, which is good news for the those seeking extraterrestrial life.
- Why the Arctic Is Warming So Fast, and Why That’s So Alarmingon June 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm
When permafrost thaws, sea ice disappears, and wildfires rage in the north, the consequences extend to the rest of the world.
- Slightly Warmer this Afternoonon June 23, 2020 at 9:09 am
SEE LOCAL TEMPS FROM THE COAST UP TO LOCAL MOUNTAINS AND OVER TO OUR INLAND VALLEYS THE PACIFIC SATELLITE SHOWS WHAT'S IN THE SKY OVER US, THEN WHAT IS OUT OVER THE OCEAN THAT MAY IMPACT OUR WEATHER ...
- Frigid Pluto began as a warm place with an underground ocean, study suggestson June 23, 2020 at 6:08 am
Pluto, a frigid little world inhabiting the solar system's outer reaches, may have been born as a warmer place sheltering a subsurface ocean that still exists today, researchers said on Monday.
via Bing News