Share

By 2100, Major Losses In Deep Sea Marine Life Thanks To Climate Change

By Terrell Johnson
Published: January 2, 2014

ankakay/flickr

Even the plants and animals that live in the deepest reaches of the oceans won't escape the impacts of Earth's rapidly changing climate, according to a study released today by an international group of scientists.

More than a third of all seafloor-dwelling marine life in the North Atlantic Ocean, and as much as 5 percent of all such species worldwide, could be wiped out by the end of this century thanks to the warming and acidification of the oceans, the study found.

Published in the scientific journal Global Change Biology by scientists with the U.K.-based National Oceanography Centre, the study said the losses will be driven by a reduction in the plants and animals that live near the sea surface.

Because fewer of those species will sink to the ocean floor as food for deep sea marine life, those species in turn will decline. Whole ecosystems will change, the study also found, which could threaten fishing in many parts of the North Atlantic.

“We were expecting some negative changes around the world, but the extent of changes, particularly in the North Atlantic, were staggering," the study's lead author, Dr. Daniel Jones, said in a press release. "Globally we are talking about losses of marine life weighing more than every person on the planet put together.”

While the changes won't be uniform across the planet, more than 80 percent of the world's ocean habitats – places like cold-water coral reefs, ocean canyons and seamounts, or mountains that rise from the ocean floor but don't reach the surface – will suffer some degree of species loss.

The study also predicts that in general, marine life will get smaller in response to changes in the oceans' temperature and chemistry.

Read the full study at Global Change Biology.

 

MORE: Climate Change Pushes Marine Life Toward the Poles

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

A Hawksbill sea turtle swims in the waters off Lady Elliot Island, Australia, in January 2012. The world's changing climate is forcing ocean species like sea turtles to migrate to cooler places at a pace nearly 10 times faster than is happening with species on land. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • Sea Turtles
  • Fishing Villages
  • Salmon
  • King Crabs
  • Sharks
  • Tuna
  • Tuna
  • Whale Sharks

Featured Blogs

Unprecedented June Heat in Northwest U.S. Caused by Extreme Jet Stream Pattern

By Dr. Jeff Masters
June 29, 2015

A searing heat wave unprecedented for June scorched the Northwest U.S. and Western Canada on Saturday and Sunday, sending to temperatures to their highest June levels in recorded history for portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. Both Idaho and Washington set all-time high temperature records for the month of June on Sunday.

PWS Service Interruption Update

By Shaun Tanner
June 16, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

Hottest Summers, Coldest Winters for Contiguous U.S.: A Few Years Loom Large

By Christopher C. Burt
May 28, 2015

Keeping track of all-time warmest/coldest daily maximum temperatures and all-time warmest/coldest months on record for any given site is a fairly easy task. However, very few NWS sites provide data concerning what their respective coldest climatological winters (December-February) or hottest climatological summers (June-August) have been. Researching 300 sites in the contiguous U.S. I have put together this summary for such. Below are the methods I used and some of the results, which proved quite interesting.

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.