Warming oceans drive largest movement of marine speciesJune 26th, 2011 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS
London, June 26 (IANS) Warming ocean waters are driving the largest movement of marine species in thousands of years, according to a new study.
In the Arctic, melting sea ice during recent summers has allowed a passage to open up from the Pacific Ocean into the North Atlantic, allowing plankton, fish and even whales into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific.
The discovery has sparked fears that delicate marine food webs could be unbalanced and lead to some species becoming extinct as competition for food between the native species and the invaders stretches resources, the Telegraph reports.
Rising ocean temperatures are also allowing species normally found in warmer sub-tropical regions to into the northeast Atlantic.
The scientists, who have been collaborating on the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystems Research project, found the plankton species, called Neodenticula seminae, travelled into the Atlantic through a passage through the Arctic sea ice around that has opened up a number of times in the last decade from the Pacific Ocean.
A venomous warm-water species Pelagia noctiluca has forced the closure of beaches and is now becoming increasingly common in the waters around Britain.
The highly venomous Portuguese Man-of-War, which is normally found in subtropical waters, is also regularly been found in the northern Atlantic waters.
Huge blooms of these marine plants use up the oxygen in the water and can produce toxic compounds that make shellfish poisonous.
Professor Chris Reid, from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science at the Plymouth Marine Lab, said: “It seems for the first time in probably thousands of years a huge area of sea water opened up between Alaska and the west of Greenland, allowing a huge transfer of water and species between the two oceans.”
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- Russia's floating university traces Gulf Stream - Jul 17, 2012
- NASA: Arctic's thickest ice diminishing faster than thin ice - Mar 01, 2012
- 'Precipitation, river discharges increase climate change' - Sep 06, 2012
- Bering Strait influenced ice age climate patterns worldwide 100,000 years ago - Jan 11, 2010
- Ship found in Arctic after 162 years - Jul 29, 2010
- 'Rising CO2 levels threaten aquatic food webs' - May 08, 2012
- Warming will forces fishes to migrate for survival - Nov 06, 2011
- Climate change forces mirgration of Australian tropical fish - Aug 17, 2012
- Water flowing into Arctic warmest in 2,000 years - Feb 01, 2011
- Ocean circulation changes 'more dramatic than previously thought' - Jan 15, 2011
- Antarctic ice shelf faces threat from warm waters - May 10, 2012
- Oysters could disappear in next 100 years due to 'acidic oceans' - Nov 07, 2010
- British ship found after 157 years in Canada - Jul 30, 2010
- Global warming may severely impact U.S. naval forces - Mar 13, 2011
Tags: arctic sea ice, atlantic waters, last decade, man of war, marine ecosystems, marine food webs, marine plants, marine species, noctiluca, ocean science, ocean temperatures, ocean waters, plymouth marine, portuguese man of war, professor chris, sir alister hardy foundation, subtropical waters, toxic compounds, two oceans, warm water species