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Marine Life "Goes with the Flow" of Changing Water Properties

Reference
Poloczanska, E.S., Brown, C.J., Syderman, W.J., Kiessling, W., Schoeman, D.S., Moore, P.J., Brander, K., Bruno, J.F., Buckley, L.B., Burrows, M.T., Duarte, C.M., Halpern, B.S., Holding, J., Kappel, C.V., O'Connor, M.I., Pandolfi, J.M., Parmesan, C., Schwing, F., Thompson, S.A. and Richardson, A.J. 2013. Global imprint of climate change on marine life. Nature Climate Change 3: 919-925.
Many people are worried about the ability of Earth's marine life to cope with climate-alarmist predictions of CO2-induced global warming and ocean acidification. And as a result, numerous scientists have investigated what may have already happened in this regard to various forms of marine life scattered throughout the world's oceans. So what have these many studies found?

Poloczanska et al. (2013), as they describe it, "investigated the peer-reviewed literature that addresses the question of whether or not climate change impacts marine ecological phenomena, and found 208 studies of 857 species and assemblages." And from these reports they say they extracted "1,735 observations of the following types of response: distribution, phenology, abundance, community change, calcification and demography," for which "either regional or global climate change was considered as a driver."

In discussing their findings, first of all, the twenty researchers say "from this database, 81-83% of all observations for distribution, phenology, community composition, abundance, demography and calcification across taxa and ocean basins were consistent with the expected impacts of climate change." And they add "of the species responding to climate change, rates of distribution shifts were, on average, consistent with those required to track ocean surface temperature changes."

In light of the findings of this massive review of the relevant scientific literature, it would appear that Earth's marine life is well equipped to deal with predicted changes in the global ocean environment, and that they are, in fact, already doing so.

Archived 12 February 2014