Escalating Ocean Heat Might Affect Future Ecosystems


In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, it records that baby sharks will find it difficult to survive on the Great Barrier Reef, at least by the end of the century. This surfaced as climate change and warmer oceans led the creatures to be born smaller, exhausted and undernourished.

The latest study from James Cook University’s (JCU) ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies has put the focus on epaulette sharks, which is an egg-laying shark found only on the Great Barrier Reef.

According to the study co-author Jodie Rummer, the epaulette shark was a species that was “really tolerant” even to very challenging and changing conditions, including ocean acidification.

“We started investigating the effects of rising temperatures … and what’s particularly alarming is that temperatures seem to be its kryptonite. Warmer temperatures are really having a negative effect on at least the early development of this particular shark species.” Dr Rummer said.

Along with the JCU team, Dr Rummer, including lead author and PhD candidate Carolyn Wheeler, extensively studied the shark eggs and hatchlings in controlled environments, simulating current reef temperatures and predictions for the middle and the end of the century.

And as per the doctor, temperatures were expected to rise from 2 to 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Dr Rummer added, “We could control conditions tightly in the laboratory and isolate the effects we were seeing and associate them just with that elevated temperature effect.”

Meanwhile, Ms Wheeler said researchers found the warmer the conditions the faster the embryos developed. “The embryos grew faster and used their yolk sac quicker, which is their only source of food as they develop in the egg cast. This led to them hatching earlier than usual. This meant hatchlings were not only smaller, they needed to feed almost straight away — while lacking significant energy.”

This was a concern for the future of all species of sharks.

As what Dr Rummer asserted “If this shark is having trouble coping with ocean warming conditions, that’s going to be a really big problem for other shark species that are less tolerant and not as robust to changes in their environment.”

Thus, should one species in an ecosystem be impacted; it could cause effects for the flow-on to an entire ecosystem’s health. This emphasizes that our future ecosystems hugely rely on taking urgent actions to mitigate climate change.

Dr Rummer even cited that if ocean warming did not stop, sharks would have to find new cooler habitats to live in or adapt over generations.

“But sharks are at a particular disadvantage for adaption as they can’t change their DNA over generations fast enough to keep up with the changing planet.”

(Image source: ABC News)

2020 joint hottest year on record: study

Last year tied with 2016 as the world’s warmest on record, rounding off the hottest decade globally as the impacts of climate change intensified, a European Union study says.

After an exceptionally warm winter and autumn in Europe, the continent experienced its hottest year on record in 2020, while the Arctic suffered extreme heat, and atmospheric concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide continued to rise.

Scientists at the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said the latest data underscored the need for countries to slash greenhouse gas emissions to bring within reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and the data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service show us that we have no time to lose,” Matthias Petschke, Director for Space in the European Commission, said.

The bloc’s space programs include the Copernicus earth observation satellites.

In 2020, temperatures globally were an average of 1.25C higher than in pre-industrial times, Copernicus said.

The last six years were the world’s hottest on record.

The Paris accord aims to cap the rise in temperatures to “well below” 2C and as close as possible to 1.5C to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.

“The key here is to … reduce the amount we emit,” Copernicus senior scientist Freja Vamborg said.

Last year also saw the highest temperature ever reliably recorded, when in August a California heatwave pushed the temperature at Death Valley up to 54.4C.

The Arctic and northern Siberia continued to warm more quickly than the planet as a whole in 2020, with temperatures in parts of these regions averaging more than 6C above a 30-year average used as a baseline, Copernicus said.

Scientists who were not involved in the study said it was consistent with growing evidence that climate change is contributing to more intense hurricanes, fires, floods and other disasters.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this post on current West Australian News published as “2020 joint hottest year on record: study”. This story was presented by My Local Pages as part of our national news services.

#joint #hottest #year #record #study

Source link

BOM and CSIRO Reported Worsening of the Climate Change Experienced by Australia Now


There is no denying that climate change has long struck numerous areas around the world. Yet, we haven’t really come to grasp about the risks involved.

Today, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have teamed up for the latest biannual report on the climate, and yes, the claim about Australia experiencing climate change now is affirmed. More so, the warming phenomenon is continuing.

Dejectedly, since 1910, we are now up to 1.44 degrees Celsius of warming, plus or minus 0.24C. This results in the increase of extreme heat days. Susceptibility of heat waves and fire are prevalent. We might not necessarily feel this 1.44 increase, but heat waves and the fire weather are undeniable.

The manager of the climate environmental prediction service at the Bureau stated that they are now seeing a more tangible shift in the extremes, thus greatly affecting on the extreme events. This is with confidence as science had been broadly consistent and accurate regarding the climate system for the last several decades.

On record, 2019 had the most extreme heat days. But as predicted by Dr. Jaci Brown ” this decade will be one of the coolest in the next hundred years.” How alarming.

In addition to heat days, fire conditions are worsening. Not to mention, this time last year already saw the devastating effect as swathes of the east coast were already on fire and Sydney had just faced down catastrophic fire danger.

“They are the sort of events we should treat as becoming more and more likely as warming continues.” The manager added.  

Numerous parts of the country, in contrary, have welcomed change as wetter conditions are prevalent in recent months. But that does not assure a long-term trend, as southern cool season rainfall is expected to keep on degenerating.

What does this mean for our farmers? Dr. Brown emphasized “Australian farmers, for example, are very used to dealing with climate variability and coming up with clever ways to manage and adapt.” Thus, types of crops to plant and new ways to work together are deemed to be an additional necessity.

This change in climate has also affected the atmosphere negatively, as we all saw coming. We have pumped CO2 into the atmosphere; hence the oceans have acted as a sink for both CO2 and the heat.

As a result, surface waters around Australia are estimated to have had a 30 per cent increase in acidity since the 1880s. In addition, sea levels have risen by 25cm globally as a result of thermal expansion and melting of ice glaziers.

We might’ve assumed the 2020 global slowdown cause by the coronavirus pandemic has remedied the environment. However, it has not been enough to stop atmospheric concentrations of CO2 from surging. There were relative drops, yet indistinguishable from the background of variability.

Dr. Brown asserted that “It is not that simple. This is about a very long-term change.”

To date, Australia is currently under the influence of the La Niña phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Typically associated with wetter-than-average conditions for all excluding south-west.