Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Australia's marine ecosystems responding to climate change

More than 80 Australian marine scientists from 34 universities and research organizations have compiled the comprehensive report from which it can be seen how Australia’s marine ecosystems are responding to climate change. Among most interesting discoveries were:

  1. The increasing sea temperatures have an effect on the distribution of marine plants and animals, causing many species that are currently being found in tropical and temperate waters to move south.
  2. Winds and currents over the Southern Ocean are having major impact on foraging of seabirds that breed in south-east Australia and feed close to the Antarctic each summer.
  3. The good news is that some tropical fish species have a greater ability to adapt to changes brought by climate change and will likely be able to acclimatize to rising water temperatures.
The Australian science community is luckily heavily involved in research, monitoring and observing climate change impact which should lead to valuable information to management on how to help marine ecosystems adapt to climate change.

This has been a very detailed report that analyzed the changes in sea temperature, sea level, the East Australian Current, the Leeuwin Current, and El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation, and their effects on „coral reefs, tropical, temperate and pelagic fish, marine mammals, marine reptiles, seabirds, mangroves, tidal wetlands, seagrass, macroalgae, marine microbes, phytoplankton and zooplankton.

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