Fish Abandon Tropical Waters Due To Climate Emergency

Fish Abandon Tropical Waters Due To Climate Emergency.

Many fish species are racing away from the equator and toward the poles to escape steadily warming ocean temperatures. In a worst-case scenario of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, many fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, moving poleward by as much as 26 kilometres per decade. Under the best-case scenario, where the Earth warms by just 1 degree Celsius, fish would move 15 kilometres every decade, according to a new study by scientists with the University of British Columbia study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinctions, but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into Arctic and Antarctic waters. Some species may be able to adapt in place by seeking out deeper and colder water, at least for a while, but the scientists couldn’t include those calculations in their modelling because of gaps in data from water temperatures at different depths. “The tropics will be the overall losers,” says William Cheung, associate professor at the UBC Fisheries Centre and co-author of this study, published today in ICES Journal of Marine Science. “This area has a high dependence on fish for food, diet and nutrition. We’ll see a loss of fish populations that are important to the fisheries and communities in these regions.” Credit: Journal of Marine Science.

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