A new study found that ocean warming and acidification could impact the nutritional quality of the food web in marine organisms. The potential lower quality content of nutrients could disrupt the marine food web.
Climate change and global warming are the main concerns of environmental groups and scientists, causing the warming of the ocean. The worsening human-made climate change contributes to the harmful effects on the environment.
The United Nations explained that the ocean has been at the forefront in fighting climate change, the main carbon sink absorbing heat from greenhouse gas emissions.
Warming of the ocean and acidification
Records showed that the world’s oceans absorbed nearly 90 percent heat from worsening greenhouse gas emissions. The rising ocean temperatures could have a catastrophic impact on marine biodiversity and the potential ice melting.
On the other hand, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained that oceans absorb more heat as climate change worsens. It could cause to increase in the sea surface temperatures, which could impact marine biodiversity and more development of storms in the tropics.
Ultimately, the warming of oceans could result in sea-level rise, damage to marine biodiversity, and marine heat waves.
Meanwhile, EPA added that the increasing acidity in the ocean could change the waters’ chemistry, affecting marine life. Corals, shellfish, and other aquatic animals will suffer from the increasing ocean acidity.
Impact on marine food web
The new research discovered that ocean warming and acidification could affect the nutritional value of the marine food web. Researchers studied the effects on the coccolithophores’ nutritional content.
The study was published in Limnology and Oceanography and is available to read on the Phys.org website.
Coccolithophores are an important food in the marine food web for zooplankton species. It can provide energy to aquatic organisms in the form of lipids. It is said to be important in the ocean, where nutrition is little or scarce.
The study’s lead author, Roberta Johnson, explained that Coccolithophores are important. The species are microscopic, but it is an essential food source. Johnson is also an ICTA-UAB researcher.
As a result, the researchers studied the impact of climate change’s driven ocean acidification and ocean warming. They looked into the effects on the nutritional content of Coccolithophores.As a result, the researchers studied the impact of climate change’s driven ocean acidification and ocean warming. They looked into the effects on the nutritional content of Coccolithophores.
As a result, the researchers experimented with the climate conditions that the said species could experience. The study found the following:
- The researchers discovered that lipids’ availability increased under ocean warming conditions.
- However, researchers found that the increase reduced the increase in lipids.
- The researchers added that the nutritional content was reduced.
- The study also said that coccolithophores could move to other places with better conditions for them to thrive. The researchers noted that it could impact the marine food web depending on the said species.
According to study, it was conducted by researchers from:
- ICTA-UAB (Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
- Roscoff Marine Station in France (In collaboration)
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