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Giving Compass' Take:
• Global warming is significantly impacting ocean animals because of warmer temperatures.
• Researchers found that marine life is being eliminated from their habitats twice as often as land animals. How might this information affect your environmental philanthropy?
• Read more about how ocean heat waves threaten marine ecosystems.
The greater vulnerability of sea creatures may significantly impact human communities that rely on fish and shellfish for food and economic activity, according to the new study.
It’s the first to compare cold-blooded marine and land species’ sensitivity to warming and their ability to find refuge from the heat while staying in their normal habitats. The authors combed through worldwide research on nearly 400 species from lizards and fish to spiders.
They calculated safe conditions for 88 marine and 294 land species as well as the coolest temperatures available to each species during the hottest parts of the year.
“We find that, globally, marine species are being eliminated from their habitats by warming temperatures twice as often as land species,” says lead author Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the department of ecology, evolution, and natural resources at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
“The findings suggest that new conservation efforts will be needed if the ocean is going to continue supporting human well-being, nutrition and economic activity.”
The study notes that ancient extinctions have often been concentrated at specific latitudes and in specific ecosystems when the climate changed rapidly. Future warming is likely to trigger the loss of more marine species from local habitats and more species turnover in the ocean.
Read the full article about climate change effects on ocean animals by Todd Bates at Futurity.