Climate Change May Shrink Fish
Fish species are expected to shrink in size by up to 24% because of global warming, say scientists. Researchers modeled the impact of rising temperatures on more than 600 species between 2001 and 2050. Warmer waters could decrease ocean oxygen levels and significantly reduce fish body weight. The scientists argue that failure to control greenhouse gas emissions will have a greater impact on marine ecosystems than previously thought.
Previous research has suggested that changing ocean temperatures would impact both the distribution and the reproductive abilities of many species of fish. This new work suggests that fish size would also be heavily impacted. The researchers built a model to see how fish would react to lower levels of oxygen in the water. They used data from one of the higher emissions scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.