The earth is made up of 71% water and provides us with some of the most important things in our daily life, such as oxygen and a source of food. However, the ocean doesn’t get its fair share of respect over the years. From reducing weather impacts, producing the food we eat, and even storing excess carbon dioxide emitted by us, humans.
Unfortunately, the effects don’t go unnoticed. The effects of ocean warming on marine life is quite noticeable, to say the least. As the increase in greenhouse gas emissions goes inexplicably high, the marine and coastal systems are threatened. The rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions has led to uncontrolled weather patterns and rising sea levels and greatly affects ocean currents. If you want to know the effects of ocean warming on marine life, this article is right for you.
What Is The Primary Issue?
The issue regarding ocean warming can be pointed out by the rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Our ocean absorbs large quantities of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, mainly from fossil fuel consumption. As a result, ocean temperatures have continued to rise over the years.
Thanks to the earth’s ocean, it has prevented some major catastrophes, more so disasters that could kill thousands of lives in a blink of an eye. However, on the negative side of things, this absorption of heat has resulted in a rapid rise in temperature, which will make our ocean uninhabitable in a few hundred or even thousands of years.
How Does Ocean Warming Affect Marine Life?
What is the Impact of Ocean Warming on Marine Life?
Marine mammals, seabirds, marine fishes, and all living sea creatures face many risks about ocean warming. This includes high mortality rate levels, most species moving from a favorable environment to another, or loss of breeding grounds for all creatures. Another marine life is also susceptible to ocean warmings, and that is the vast coral reefs. High temperatures cause coral bleaching and may result in their rapid death.
Another major group of species that are greatly affected by ocean warming is the polar bears, which is very well documented. Melting of the polar regions means species such as walruses, seals, polar bears, penguins, whales, and other creatures can greatly impact that loss of their habitats.
When sea ice melts, it is also a habitat for Antarctic krill, which is the main diet for almost all sea mammals down the southern Ocean. Over the years, as the decline of the sea krill population continues, more and more sea mammals such as whales are on the decline as they are dependent on these food sources.
High Ocean Temperatures Spells Disaster for Fishes
Over the years, the rapid temperature rise has had a disastrous effect on marine life. Consider:
As mentioned earlier, warmer water causes coral bleaching, which results in the coral dying and loss of habitat by some marine creatures and other ecosystems which rely on coral reefs as shelter and sources of food. Coral reefs are also home to some of the crucial food sources for mankind.
A change in temperature means it can directly affect the growth and development of most fish and marine creatures such as squid and octopuses. Some marine creatures rely on ocean temperature, and when this factor is greatly affected, it may take longer than usual for these to develop.
Ocean Warmings Alter Currents
Climate change affects temperature, but it can also affect wind patterns, and when these two are combined, it can also affect water currents. How can this affect wildlife?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, when ocean currents change and temperature rises, most marine species tend to look for a more favorable condition. And when this comes, various species primarily affect their reproductions and source of nutrients as more and more species begin to take their food source.
Current plays an essential role in keeping Earth’s weather normal, and when ocean currents are altered, it can have a severe impact on humanity. For example, Europe has a somewhat temperate and cold climate; this is the Atlantic current called the gulf stream.
The current in the Atlantic changes can greatly affect the entire weather and temperature patterns in European countries. It can also mean that countries that don’t get rain may experience a prevalence in rainy seasons and to air temperatures as well. When these factors are greatly affected, it has major implications for all species and even for humans.
Ocean Warmings Alters the Composition of Ocean Waters
The burning of fossil fuels means the ocean has to absorb most of these, and by these, it can also alter the ocean water’s composition, thus, making it more acidic. Our ocean absorbs almost 30 to 35% of Earth’s carbon dioxide, and when that is absorbed into the ocean water, it becomes carbonic acid.
How does this affect our marine life? When carbonic acid is formed, species that form shells such as corals, scallops, crabs, and many more are greatly affected. And, that is because when ocean water becomes more acidic, it can have a tremendous impact on calcium carbonate, a vital source for these shelled creatures to form their shells.
When these creatures are greatly affected, it can have a ripple effect on the entire system. Corals and other shell-forming organisms provide shelter and food sources for various marine creatures. If the increase in ocean acidity continues to go up, it can disrupt various food chains and ecosystems.
There is still plenty of time to restore what was lost. It is up to us humans to deal with what is already destroyed and what can be restored. Thankfully, various counties and organizations have already put an extra effort to help mitigate global warming over the years.
For the most part, we’ve taken a step in the right direction. We just hope all hope is not lost for the future. Furthermore, if you want to help save the ocean and marine life, join us here at ATOLEA on our mission to help conserve the natural habitat of sea creatures.
For every purchase you make from our Ocean-inspired jewelry collections, part of it goes to conservation charities which aim to protect and preserve the Ocean.
So let’s dive into our elegant ATOLEA Sea-inspired jewelry now and wear you love to the Ocean!