The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) new and scary release includes a warning that the effects of climate change on our oceans and fisheries are potentially devastating.
In the summary of the report, there were a few maps detailing the impact of climate change on fisheries and ocean pH levels.
Species on the run
The map below shows how the maximum catch potential of roughly 1,000 marine species will be redistributed.
The report predicts that warming will cause high extinction rates in the tropics and semi-enclosed waters. Species will move away from the equator and fisheries catch potential is predicted to increase at mid and high latitudes.
The red and orange areas are predicted to see a decrease in maximum catch potential.
A deadly, acidic ocean
In the graphic below, the top panel shows all of the major fisheries around the world, overlaid with how much the acidity of the ocean is predicted to change. The darker blue indicates areas where acidity will increase the most.
The cold water in polar regions more easily absorbs carbon dioxide, a primary driver of acidity. Polar and coral reef ecosystems are especially sensitive to increases in acidity. This acidity has a negative effect on marine ecosystems, as you can see below.
The bottom panel shows how four types of animals are adversely affected by increasing acidity. Not surprisingly, increases in acidity increase negative effects in all the surveyed creatures.
As you move right on each graph, the acidity goes up, as do the negative effects, seen in purple. Animals which use calcium carbonate, such as corals and mollusks, are at greater risk.
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