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Current Affairs

Climate change shrinks marine richness

Date: 08 April 2021 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

A new study has claimed that the total diversity of marine species decreased drastically at Equator as a result of climate change.

 

Background

The coral colonies located around Caribbean area are colourful in nature but have since turned skeletal white due to increase in temperatures.

 

Details

  • Tropical open-water species of organisms has decreased by about half in the last 40 years up to 2010 in marine tropical zones worldwide. Sea surface temperatures grew by about 0.2 degrees during this time.

  • Climate change has been destroying species diversity but the impact has been highest in Northern hemisphere as a result of warming oceans.

  • Other reasons such as overfishing too have been a reason for decline but there is strong evidence of relationship between climate change and species diversity.

 

Other impact

  • Previous studies have shown that water warming has forced some species to migrate to cooler waters. The new study tries to gauge larger impact.

  • Sea bottom dwelling species such as corals and sponges have been consistent throughout the time. Studies have shown that they have expanded beyond tropical zones.

 

Coral system

  • It is an underwater ecosystem where there is a large presence of large reef building corals. Coral reefs are symbiotic relationship between coral polyps and zooxanthalae algae that helps in preparing food.

  • Corals extract calcium carbonate from seawater and create a hard, strong exoskeleton that will protect its soft bodies.

  • Coral reef is an indicator of health of the ecosystem. They can survive in only health and optimum conditions. If they decline, it indicates climate change.