Acidification and degradation. Oceans in 100 years

In a hundred years, there will be no life in the oceans?

Climate change is fueling unprecedented warming and acidification of the Earth’s oceans, and by the end of the century it could change 95% of the ocean surfaces.

The world is facing global climatic changes. Scientists do not cease to warn about them. A new study from Northwestern University in the United States raised concerns that warmer, more acidic surface waters would make the planet’s oceans less conducive to marine life.

Two scenarios

Using models of the global oceanic climate, the team considered two scenarios: one with a peak in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but slow for the rest of the century; the other, with a peak in emissions by 2100, at which emissions continue to increase over the next 80 years.

The first scenario showed that 36% of the current ocean surface conditions would disappear by 2100. However, in an extreme scenario, it disappears up to 95% of current ocean surface conditions.

“The rate of change in atmospheric CO2 content over the past century is two to three orders of magnitude higher than most changes observed in the last 420,000-300 million years, suggesting that this problem may be unprecedented for many existing species,” the authors pointed out. in a study published in Nature.

EPA

Threats to the ocean ecosystem are on the rise

New climate

Such a rapid pace of environmental change means that by the end of the 21st century, large parts of the Earth’s oceans may encounter climatic conditions that do not exist at present, and some climatic conditions of the 20th century may disappear, the scientists emphasize.

Ocean surface climate refers to surface water temperature, acidity and concentration of the mineral aragonite, which is a high pressure calcium carbonate polymorph. Many marine animals use this mineral to form bones and shells.

“Species that are narrowly adapted to an endangered climate will have to adapt to different conditions,” said lead author Katie Lotterhos of the Center for Marine Sciences at Northeastern University.

According to the models reviewed, marine life that lives closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to other oceans to avoid warming waters, but research suggests that their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification.

“Already, many marine species have changed their ranges in response to warmer waters,” Lotterhos said. “The communities of species that inhabit the same region will continue to change rapidly over the coming decades.

Governments need to monitor future changes in the behavior of marine surface species, she said. Ultimately, the world’s oceans need to stop the emissions that cause them to heat up and acidify.

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