A study recently released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences revealed that due to global warming, the food chains found in the world’s oceans are most likely to collapse.
Ocean acidification and warming waters are causing ocean life as we know it to disappear. The 632 experimented research has found that the ocean has warmed up nearly 34℉ since the pre-industrial times and the water has increased to be 30% more acidic. Because of this, sea creatures such as coral and oysters and finding it difficult to form the shells and structures that support them. The behaviors and habitat of other fish are changing as well.
With these increased levels of acid and a warmer environment, the sea creatures are fighting to stay alive. Less prey means less food. With a warmer climate comes a higher metabolism and greater demand for food that just simply won’t be there. This in return will affect our food chain as a whole. Warm and acidic waters aren’t the only thing affecting sea life and our food chain, plastic pollution continues to threaten the lives of animals.
The BBC reported that sea creatures at the bottom of the ocean are ingesting broken down plastic particles. With an estimated 8 million TONS of plastic being wasted into the ocean a year the dangers of the plastic debris not only harms those in the ocean, but humans as well. In fact, fish caught among the coasts of California and Indonesia and sold in local fish markets were discovered with plastic and textile debris in their stomachs. It starts with the tiniest sea creatures, phytoplankton, that consume the plastic debris and are then eaten by bigger fish such as shrimp and jellyfish that are then eaten by larger fish and so on and so on until it ends up being eaten by a human. For more information on how plastic in the ocean gets into the food chain click here.
Though the danger is there the damage isn’t done yet and we can still make changes if we put forth an effort to. First things first make recycling a habit! Many cities have already provided recycling bins for their citizens. If you don’t have one, they’re simple to make. You can use anything from a box to a regular trash can by labeling it “recycle” for you and others to properly dispose of your waste. You can also learn ways to reduce your carbon footprint in efforts to reduce global warming. These are just some of the things you can do, for more information on how you can preserve the ocean life click here.
By: Kiandra Florence