Marine life is susceptible to climate change. As the climate gets warm, oceans become more acidic. This would affect marine life in the long run. Ocean acidification is already a warning for marine life and habitat.
The world's oceans are in danger of becoming more acidic in the coming years. This has been the findings of a study made by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) as well as their colleagues from other areas such as Europe, Australia and Japan. The study shows that a wide variety of habitats would be lost as ocean acidification continues.
Jennifer Sunday led the study. She is also a UBC Zoologist and biodiversity researcher. She said that habitats that rely on calcium carbonate like coral reefs and mussel beds would face risk as the oceans continue to become more acidic. Seagrass beds are also vulnerable, as the study shows that the potential for it to support more marine life has not been reached.
The study has looked into underwater volcanic vents which release much carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide added into the ocean causes it to become acidic, which is affecting many marine life. Sunday added that studying marine life on a wide scale would be less time consuming than studying individual species, as UBC News reports.
Much of the research focused on coral reefs, mussel beds and kelp forests, as Science Daily notes. These areas have been homes for many marine animals. Many of these marine animals would be greatly affected should their habitats diminish or else lost.
Marine commerce would also be affected if many of these marine creatures are affected. Senior author Christopher Harley has noted that medium to large-sized edible mussels would likely have reduced numbers. With marine industry affected, many communities face the challenge of reduced income as well.
The authors plan to expand their approach on the study. They have studied the coral reef in Papua New Guinea as well as seagrass beds in the Mediterranean. As the study continues, ocean acidification is already a warning for marine life and habitat. Coral reefs are also affected by rising carbon dioxide levels.