Gege Li of New Science –
Climate change is dramatically changing the abundance of marine life around the world. As oceans warm, populations of species that can adapt to elevated local temperatures have increased nearer to the poles, while those that live closer to the equator are shrinking in size.
Martin Genner at the University of Bristol, UK, and his colleagues examined data from 540 previous studies of marine populations affected by warming. The analysis included 304 marine species, including mammals, birds, fish and plankton, and their change in abundance within their usual habitat range.
The researchers found that the warming of oceans by 1°C over the past century has triggered a widespread change in local communities, and those species that were more abundant at the poleward limit of their range seemed to fare better than those nearer the equatorial limit.