Thursday, January 29, 2009

Antarctic sea life vulnerable to warming

Antarctic sea creatures such as Antarctic sea spiders, limpets or sea urchins are probably among the most vulnerable species to global warming because they are able to tolerate only a very narrow temperature band, and Antarctic water temperatures have already experienced rise of about 1 C in the last 50 years. Antarctica is one of the areas struck mostly with global warming and Antarctica's marine ecosystems are among the most vulnerable ones on Earth, because Antarctic sea creatures are extremely sensitive to even small rise in temperature.

Scientists believe that additional rise in temperature of about 2-3 degree Celsius would very likely cause these animals to lose vital functions leading them towards the extinction. For instance, certain laboratory tests have shown that clams and limpets once in warmer waters lose the ability to right themselves if they land upside down which is crucial for survival in Antarctica's shallows, where icebergs regularly scrape across rocks on the seabed.

Antarctic sea creatures are extremely vulnerable to global warming and many will go extinct if temperatures in Antarctica continue to rise.

The U.N. climate panel has estimated that Antarctica will experience temperature rise somewhere between 1.8 C and 4 C this century. This would very likely cause serious changes in Antarctica's marine ecosystems, and many unique Antarctic sea creatures are very likely to go extinct.

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