Global Warming is adversely affecting the biodiversity of the planet. The continuous chain of different effects is offering an adverse impact on the planet’s biodiversity and also disrupting the ecological balance. A recently published study suggested that the polar bears and other iconic animals could be extinct by the end of the century if ocean temperatures continue to rise at the current rate. In a paper, published in the journal ‘Nature Climate Change’, by the scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina it is claimed that rising temperatures due to climate change may result in a catastrophic loss of marine wildlife and drastic changes to ocean food webs by 2100.
The emission of greenhouse gases due to the burning of the fossil fuels is causing the temperature to rise. Further, greenhouse gases like carbon, sulphur, nitrogen, etc have the ability to trap sun’s radiation which would reflect back otherwise, causing the temperatures to rise. These rising temperatures have a direct impact on the oceans. In fact, it is proven scientifically that oceans absorb heat about 20 times as much as the atmosphere. This eventually results in a steep rise in oceans temperature.
The newly published research projected an increase in ocean temperatures by 2.8 degrees Celsius on average. Further, the research suggested that marine life will be unable to tolerate such a high rise in temperature. John Bruno, a lead author, and biologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill conducted this research and stated that warming of such magnitude will result in loss of many animal species from marine protected areas by the turn of the century.
The scientist further stated in their paper that protect areas which are established as sanctuaries for polar bears, coral reefs, and other wildlife are not going to protect species from the impacts of global warming. The study further pointed out the devastating impacts of global warming by notifying that a large number of corals already have been destroyed by bleaching and diseases related to higher temperatures in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The researcher further claimed that protections in place will not be going to work by 2100 if emissions related to greenhouse gas continue to rise at the current rate.
The warming oceans have a vast overall impact. One such devastating impacting is oxygen deficient zones in the oceans. The amount of oxygen gets dissolved in water depends on the temperature and salinity of the water. The rising ocean temperatures are affecting the solubility of oxygen, making these deficit in oxygen. This is also affecting marine life and causing them to move or making these more susceptible to diseases. In order words, it is affecting the whole food web.