We used to hear about global warming in the past but here we are right now living in the very moment we have long feared about. Well, we can mainly blame ourselves for this misfortune as it was our human activities that hastened its arrival more than anything else. The planet is getting hotter and hotter very quickly and there seems to be no stopping it yet we only notice its effects that matter to us like the unimaginable heat, natural calamities becoming worse than before, and many animals and plant life are disappearing as they don’t usually have the modern contrivances that help us beat the heat unlike them that are left to fend for themselves in the wild. Greenhouse gases increases and more heat is trapped in the atmosphere – a deadly and vicious cycle we don’t know yet how to solve.
Now, what about rising sea levels and melting glaciers? Do we really grasp just how severe the problem has become when you are in a desolate place like the Antarctic, for instance? Yes, it is also a different story in the cold Antarctic waters where they can immediately feel the effect of the constant rise in the temperature by 1 degree each passing year. Biodiversity has significantly gone down and it allowed certain species to thrive deeper in the now warmer water like Moss and bottom-dwelling marine worm.
Marine life on the Antarctic seabed is likely to be far more affected by global warming than previously thought, say scientists who have conducted the most sophisticated study to date of heating impacts in the species-rich environment.
Growth rates of some fauna doubled – including colonising moss animals and undersea worms – following a 1C increase in temperature, making them more dominant, pushing out other species and reducing overall levels of biodiversity, according to the study published on Thursday in Current Biology.
The researchers who conducted the nine-month experiment in the Bellingshuan Sea say this could have alarming implications for marine life across the globe as temperatures rise over the coming decades as a result of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The disappearance of the ice and the constant melting of the glaciers are most dramatic in this part of the world because of the increasing temperature with the highest in record so far at 17.5°C, highly unusual in this icy region. If this goes on, there is the danger of 90% of the world’s fresh water to be melted from its current icy cage and spilled into the ocean, thereby creating a new danger of higher sea level that may eventually submerge island nations like the Maldives when worst comes to worst.
It’s abundantly clear that climate change will shift ecosystems around the world, though. Similar experiments run in coral reefs, alpine forests, intertidal zones, and the tundra have all returned similar results. When the environment changes, diversity takes a nosedive as the few species that can survive take over. A 2006 study found that less diverse ocean environments were more prone to resource collapse and had poorer recovery potential, stability and water quality. Diverse environments are more stable and disease-resistant, those with only a few species have little genetic variation to deal with future disasters.
So, the Antarctic likely won’t become a barren wasteland because of climate change; there will still be plants and animals there. Without the complex, diverse environment that has been built up over the course of millions of years, however, it will have lost something crucial to any ecosystem: resilience.
We might as well accept the fact that global warming will forever change the various ecosystems deep in the water. While some species thrive in the warmer ocean environment, others that aren’t less resilient and couldn’t adapt to the warmer water may eventually perish and be gone for good. While some scientific studies have shown us a glimpse as to what the ocean will look like if global warming progresses, nobody can tell for sure what it really will be like when the time comes. It’s the reason why we should seriously get to the bottom of climate change and force changes that can slow down its progression if not ultimately stop it from progressing at all.