Scientists predict that a rise in global temperatures over the coming decades will cause the average body size of sea fish to decline by between 14 and 24 per cent.
About half of the shrinkage will be due to changes in the distribution and abundance of fish caused by changes to their environment, and half will be the direct result of living in oxygen-poor water.
Species living in tropical and intermediate-latitude oceans will suffer the most, with an average reduction in weight of more than 20 per cent, according to the study by William Cheung and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
While changes in distribution were expected, “we were surprised to see such a large decrease in fish size”, Dr Cheung said. “The unexpectedly big effect that climate change could have on body size suggests that we may be missing a big piece of the puzzle in understanding climate change effects.”
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- Climate and the Oceans (iceagenow.info)
- Majority of Coral Reefs at Risk Unless Climate Change is Halted (planetsave.com)
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