A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed a correlation between the decline of species and an increase in temperature. As per the study, the total number of species living in the marine world has halved in the last 40 years. This is because climate change has increased the sea surface temperatures by nearly 0.2 degree Celsius. Also, factors like overfishing have caused a major impact.
Analysing 48,661 species
As a part of the study, the researchers used distribution data on 48,661 species. This was done to show that the marine biodiversity has been responding to climate warming globally. The study portrays that marine species richness levels decline in latitudinal bands with average annual sea surface temperatures exceeding 20 °C. Previously, the studies have either only predicted such effects or have provided data at regional scales.
The data analysed 48,661 marine animal species since 1955. This included, accounting for sampling variation, assessing whether the global latitudinal gradient in species richness is being impacted by climate change. The researchers concluded that there has been a slight dip in species richness at the equator. In response, since the 1970s, species richness has declined at the equator. This is relative to an increase at midlatitudes. This pattern is considered to be consistent with the hypothesis that climate change is impacting the latitudinal gradient in marine biodiversity at a global level. Also, it is already too warm for some species to survive.
Impact of climate change
As a part of another study, it was concluded that the Antarctic peninsula will increase by 0.5 to 1.5 degree Celsius due to climate change by 2044. The study was published in the journal Climate Dynamics. The researchers after analysing simulations found that 19 global climate models show that temperature in the Antarctic peninsula will rise. According to the study, precipitation is also expected to increase by about 5 per cent to 10 per cent over the same period. David Bromwich, a leading author of the study and a research professor at The Ohio State University Byrd Polar said that they have been observing changes on the peninsula. The peninsula is getting warmer and ice shelves and glaciers are melting into ice.