Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ocean Life Under Threat From Climate Change

Date:
June 11, 2008
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
The international science community must devote more resources to research into the effects climate change is having on ocean environments, according to a paper recently published in the journal Science.

Detecting ocean change: The extent of this algal bloom near Tasmania can only be seen using special sensors on ocean-observing satellites.
Credit: Image courtesy of CSIRO Australia

“Marine ecosystems are undoubtedly under-resourced, overlooked and under threat and our collective knowledge of impacts on marine life is a mere drop in the ocean,” wrote Dr Anthony Richardson, from The University of Queensland and CSIRO, and his co-author, Dr Elvira Poloczanska from CSIRO in Hobart.

“There is an overwhelming bias toward land-surface studies which arise in part because investigating the ocean realm is generally difficult, resource-intensive and expensive,” they said.

The disparity in focus on land-based compared to marine impacts was highlighted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which included 28,500 significant biological changes in terrestrial systems but only 85 in marine systems.

The paper argues that the collection of marine environment data over 20 years or more – a requirement for inclusion in IPCC assessments – suffered in the mid-1980s due to government funding cutbacks for international marine science research, just as ocean warming began accelerating.

The authors advocate change in the existing IPCC process to better assess the impacts.

“Climate change is affecting ocean temperatures, the supply of nutrients from the land, ocean chemistry, food chains, shifts in wind systems, ocean currents and extreme events such as cyclones,” Dr Poloczanska said. “All of these in turn affect the distribution, abundance, breeding cycles and migrations of marine plants and animals, which millions of people rely on for food and income. Development of the Integrated Marine Observing System, announced in 2006, is an important step forward but securing data over the time scales relevant for climate assessment will not occur until near 2030.”

Dr Richardson said the situation is made more urgent as emerging evidence suggests marine organisms may be responding faster to climate change than land-based plants and animals. “As the climate is warming, marine plants and animals are shifting towards the poles and their timing of peak abundance is occurring earlier in the year,” he said. “The slower dynamics of the ocean also means that some changes such as ocean acidification will be irreversible this century.

“While understanding impacts of climate change in the oceans is important, ultimately we need to develop adaptation options as the knowledge-base expands,” Dr Richardson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Ocean Life Under Threat From Climate Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606105448.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2008, June 11). Ocean Life Under Threat From Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606105448.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Ocean Life Under Threat From Climate Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606105448.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins