How Climate Change Is Affecting Aquatic Species

Hello everyone my name is Troy Wilson and I am a Meteorology major at California University of Pennsylvania. In the days and weeks ahead, I will be posting a number of blogs about climate change, focusing on the negative affects that climate change has on freshwater and saltwater species in various locations around the globe. My goal is to create content that is informative, educational, and interesting to the reading audience.

     Now that I have introduced myself, lets dive into the primary purpose for this blog. As we all know, the there has been a lot of debate in recent years regarding climate change, and how important it is to the future of our planet and our existence. Most climatologists agree that climate change exists, and the correct action must be taken in order to save our planet from future destruction. In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion about how to effectively mitigate the current trends in our global climate without causing a great deal of economic destruction.

The image above shows how the sea surface temperatures have changed between 1880 – 2020. Since the early 1900s, there has been a significant increase in temperatures. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-sea-surface-temperature

   In this blog, I will be talking about the affect that climate change has on aquatic life in general. New research suggests that 60 percent of the world’s fish species are at risk of becoming extinct. If global average temperatures were to rise 5 degrees Celsius annually, nearly two-thirds of the world’s fish species could be eliminated by the year 2100 (Robitzski, 2021). This fact makes it vitally important that we address the issue of climate change. One of the primary effects that climate change has on aquatic life is related to an increase in the water temperatures. As shown in the image above, there has been a steady increase in sea surface temperatures from the early 1900s until 2020. These increases in water temperatures will change ecological processes and change the geographical locations of aquatic species. The population of aquatic organisms is dependent on changes in the frequency, duration, and timing of weather patterns that provide large amounts of precipitation (floods) or droughts. A change in the time of the season that snow melts will affect the flow of streams. These changes may interfere with the reproductive habits of many aquatic species (Brinson et al. 2002).

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/search-cooler-waters-marine-species-are-shifting-northward-or-diving

     One of the primary affects that climate change is having on aquatic species is related to the warming of the oceans. As warmer water begins to be realized, aquatic species are moving northward or swimming into deeper water in search of a more favorable habitat (Climate.gov) The graphs located above indicates that this is occurring for species in the Eastern Bering Sea and off the Northeast U. S. coast.

    Climate change is likely to create additional stress on certain freshwater and coastal wetlands, which are already negatively affected by various other human impacts such as deterioration of water quality and altered waterflow mechanisms. Wetlands are a very important habitat for many species that do not adapt well to other environmental conditions and are important to maintaining marine and coastal fisheries. It is important to understand that aquatic ecosystems are limited in their ability to adapt to climate change. Human actions are vitally important in limiting ecosystem stress and helping to increase adaptive ability. These actions on our part will help to decrease the likelihood of substantial impacts to these ecosystems. Some human actions that can be taken include: the maintenance of riparian forests, reduction of nutrient loading, the restoration of damaged ecosystems, minimizing the amount of water withdrawn from the ground, and developing strategies to place any new reservoirs in locations that help to reduce negative effects (Brinson et al. 2002).

(2016) Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Aquatic Species. with Chris Harley. Youtube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFDHyGWwx3g.

    In the coming weeks I will be posting additional blogs about the affect of climate change on aquatic species. As human beings living on this tremendous planet, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. We not only have a responsibility to preserve the earth, but we also have a responsibility to help preserve a suitable living environment for humans and creatures that inhibit our world.

                                                      Work Cited

Brinson M. Mark, et. al. Equatic Ecosystems and Global Climate Change. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. https://www.c2ES.org. January 2002. Web.  Feb.4, 2022.

Robitzski, Dan. How Can Climate Change Affect Fishing? – The World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/climate-change-threatens-60-percent-of-the-world-s-fish-species/ Web. Feb. 17, 2022.

Barrie, John. In search of cooler waters, marine species are shifting northward or diving deeper. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nov. 3, 2020. Web. Retrieved Feb 17, 2022.

Image:

Environmental Protection Agency. (2021). Retrieved Feb. 17, 2022 from https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-sea-surface-temperature

Image:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2020). Retrieved Feb. 17, 2022 from https://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/search-cooler-waters-marine-species-are-shifting-northward-or-diving

Youtube Video:

(2016) Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Aquatic Species. with Chris Harley. Youtube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFDHyGWwx3g.

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