It’s fair to reason that even animals as simple as fish know when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This is what is and may be happening to fish who live in waters that are growing warmer. They know when to get out of Dodge and they are and might just migrate to cooler waters thus changing the ecosystems and biospheres they traditionally had used as their habitat.
It’s a problem that has scientists on their toes as this possible redistribution of species may be global in scope and if the climate does change more drastically we could be seeing the beginning of a whole new area where fish and other marine animals will occupy regions they’d not before. Science calls the traditional tropics region as the latitudinal diversity gradient. Both plants and animals throughout the world, land and sea, live in their tropical regions due to warmth, food, avoidance of predators. Not only does temperature lend to growth but also what nourishment and protection these species employ.
In the waters, temperature does more than just warm them. The amount of oxygen that is dissolved in the water greatly depends on temperature as does CO2 that plants breathe. With continued warming it’s a given the fish and plants might migrate to cooler waters causing who knows what changes in the untapped ecosystems there.
In the Journal of Marine Science, researchers Miranda Jones and William Cheung of the University of British Columbia put together ecological models under the umbrella of the IPCC’s various climate change situations. They looked a distribution of about 800 marine fish and invertebrate species and matched it with the distributions with environmental conditions and that data is used to to project where these life forms are probably going to be found in future environmental scenarios.
What the researchers found was that the tropical seas, especially the shallow but highly diverse seas of Southeast Asia, are more than likely to be impacted negatively in local extinctions. On the other fin, pun intended, the cooler arctic/polar regions will see a huge increase of invasions. The cold areas will then have a greater biodiversity.
It’s estimated that a 26km migration per decade is predicted towards the poles according to the data gleaned by IPCC.
Overall, the warming of the seas has been shown in this scientific study might have disastrous effects or call for mankind to change their strategies. More data needs to be collected but so far the data looks solid.