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Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

If the world's greenhouse gas emissions stay at the present rate, that means a 17% loss of biomass

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Hot Water, Study, Sea
This August 2017 photo provided by the U.S. Fish and wildlife service shows a water-run chinook salmon. VOA

The world’s oceans will likely lose about one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues on its current path, a new study says.

Every degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) that the world’s oceans warm, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by 5%, according to a comprehensive computer-based study by an international team of marine biologists. And that does not include effects of fishing.

If the world’s greenhouse gas emissions stay at the present rate, that means a 17% loss  of biomass – the total weight of all the marine animal life – by the year 2100, according to Tuesday’s study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But if the world reduces carbon pollution, losses can be limited to only about 5%, the study said.

“We will see a large decrease in the biomass of the oceans,” if the world doesn’t slow climate change, said study co-author William Cheung, a marine ecologist at the University of British Columbia. “There are already changes that have been observed.”

Hot Water, Study, Sea
The world’s oceans will likely lose about one-sixth of their fish and other marine life. VOA

While warmer water is the biggest factor, climate change also produces oceans that are more acidic and have less oxygen, which also harms sea life, Cheung said.

Much of the world relies on the oceans for food or livelihood, scientists say.

“The potential ramifications of these predicted losses are huge, not just for ocean biodiversity, but because people around the world rely on ocean resources,” said University of Victoria biology professor Julia Baum, who wasn’t part of the study but says it makes sense. “Climate change has the potential to cause serious new conflicts over ocean resource use and global food security, particularly as human population continues to grow this century.”

The biggest animals in the oceans are going to be hit hardest, said study co-author Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist at the United Nations World Conservation Monitoring Center in England.

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“The good news here is that the main building blocks of marine life, plankton and bacteria may decline less heavily, the bad news is that those marine animals that we use directly, and care about most deeply, are predicted to suffer the most as climate change is working its way up the food chain,” co-author Boris Worm, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Canada, said in an email.

Tropical areas, already warm, will also see the biggest losses, Cheung said.

Scientists had already thought that climate change will likely reduce future ocean life, but past computer simulations looked at only part of the picture or used only one model. This study uses six different state-of-the-art computer models that give the best big picture look yet, Cheung said.

It is hard to separate past climate change impacts from those of fishing, but past studies have shown places where observed fish loss can be attributed to human-caused climate change, Chung added.

Hot Water, Study, Sea
Every degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) that the world’s oceans warm, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by 5%. VOA

Tittensor pointed to lobsters off Maine and North Atlantic right whales as examples of creatures already being hurt by global warming hitting the ocean.

University of Georgia marine biologist Samantha Joye, who wasn’t part of the research, praised the study as meticulous and said it is also “an urgent call for action.”

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“Healthy oceans are required for planetary stability,” Joye said in an email. “Aggressive global action to slow climate change is a moral imperative.” (VOA)

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Successful Bariatric Surgery Among Older Adults: Study

Weight loss surgeries are proven to be successful for older adults

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Study indicates that older adults treated with bariatric surgery can recover well and have a reduced risk of obesity-related complications. Pixabay

Weight-loss or bariatric surgeries are not usually performed in people above the age of 65. But researchers, including Indian-origin, have now found that these procedures could lead to successful weight loss and better diabetes control in older adults.

The study, presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Brighton, UK, indicates that elderly patients treated with bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or gastric sleeve) can recover well and have a reduced risk of obesity-related complications, including heart disease and diabetes.

“Although based on a small number of patients, our data suggest that successful weight loss and improved diabetes control can be safely achieved with surgery in older patients, which could have real benefits for their longevity and quality of life,” said study researcher Nader Lessan from the Abu Dhabi-based Imperial College London Diabetes Centre.

Lessan and the study’s co-author Saradalekshmi Radha assessed the results of 22 patients who had attended their medical centre and who had undergone weight loss surgery after the age of 65.

Two years after weight-loss surgery, the patients had, on an average, lost 24 per cent of their original body weight.

Older adults
Data suggests that successful weight loss and improved diabetes control can be safely achieved with surgery in older adults. Pixabay

In addition, of the 11 patients who had been on insulin to control their type 2 diabetes, four no longer needed it, while for others, the total insulin dose required had significantly decreased.

The only adverse effects reported during the two year period were iron and vitamin D deficiencies, which happen in younger patients too.

Also read- Bariatric Surgery Leads To Nutritional Deficiency

“Management of obesity and diabetes in old age is challenging. There is a lot of scepticism around conducting weight-loss surgery in patients over 65,” Lessan said.

“Our study suggests these procedures could be considered in older adults as an effective intervention to aid weight loss and associated complications.” (IANS)