Fish Will Shrink By Up To A Quarter Due To Climate Change

Fish

Photo: David J/Flickr

The plight of the world’s fish supply due to overfishing is already clear. Now fish stocks face another pressure. Fish will shrink by up to a quarter by 2050 as a result of climate change, according to a new study.  The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, were based on a computer projection “to see how fish would react to lower levels of oxygen in the water,” Matt McGrath at BBC News writes.

Rising oceans temperatures, which scientists attribute to man-made carbon emissions, creates two problems. Gases become less soluble at higher temperatures, meaning a warmer ocean contains less oxygen. Warm waters also “increase the metabolic rate of the fish’s body function,” lead author William Cheung, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, told BBC News. As a result, the fish need more oxygen to perform basic functions, “so the fish will run out of oxygen for growth at a smaller body size,” says Cheung.   

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