We are aware that climate change will probably bring about intense and increasingly frequent extreme weather events which will have wide ranging impacts on habitats worldwide. However, what about communities and another species with which we share earth? How will they be affected? It appears that for the marine environment at least, matters will likely move north as the oceans currents and increasing heat transforms their world.
In a brand new study released in PNAS, scientists have mapped the historical distributions of almost 90 species of phytoplankton, and after that mapped their spread – projected within the next 50 years. Phytoplankton are tiny organisms that form the foundation of many food webs, and are critical to the majority of life in the oceans. The miniature organisms are in turn eaten by zooplankton, which are subsequently fed upon by fish, and photosynthesize to have energy.
Phytoplankton, including this species, form the base of several marine food webs.
But not only did they project that communities would disappear, in addition they forecast that associations between species of phytoplankton is likely to be substantially changed. This may have profound impacts on the opposite organisms that rely on them, like fish. Another study, published in Nature Climate Change, has looked at the way in which the distribution of fish is likely to be changed as the oceans warm, so that as a result the way the movement of fisheries will transfer prosperity and their worth to more northern states.
Communities that have conservation-orientated direction of natural resources, including those in the Northern Hemisphere, will derive more abundance as opposed to communities who now have access in the fisheries. This may finally exasperate the inequalities found between the developed as well as the developing countries.
It’s also what’s believed to be behind a rise in shark attacks over the eastern shore of the U.S., as the sharks go north into more populated areas. It appears that as climate change becomes more and more extreme, the planet is going to be finding more interference in its natural ecosystems.