Effects of Ocean Warming Around the World
Global warming has become a very hot topic in recent years with the increasing global climate and amount of greenhouse gasses. A little known fact, however, is that about 84% of the total heating of the Earth over the last 40 years has gone into warming the oceans. This warming of the ocean is having widespread effects from loss of biodiversity to the increasing number of tropical cyclones. Even changes of less than 5°C are having effects seen around the world. Many studies are starting to suggest that humans are beginning to play a larger and larger role in the increasing of the ocean’s temperature as human’s fingerprint on the ocean’s warming becomes more extensive.
With the increasing ocean temperatures, nonnative species are slowly taking over certain native species. The effects of climate change on communities can occur via both direct impacts on the diversity and abundance of native species and indirect effects due to increased dominance of introduced species. These invasive species can live in more of a broad range of temperatures than the native species, and in these broader ranges the native species will attempt to compete with this invasive species for resources and lose. Survival rate of the invasive species becomes higher than that of the native species as the ocean temperatures rise. As the temperature went up, the native species’ grow rates started to decline, yet the growth rates of the nonnative species did not change. This could lead to certain species’ extinction if the temperature of the water rises too far out of the native species ‘optimal’ range. There is a decreased survivorship in certain native species when the temperature of the water is raised 4.5°C. There was no change for the invasive species’ survivorship at the same temperature. Invasive dominance has increased concurrently with ocean warming over the past 40 years. While invasive species will thrive, ever rising ocean temperature will...
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