Monday, October 1, 2012

Fish Will Shrink To A Quarter Of Their Size Due To Climate Change



The plight of the world's fish supply due to overfishing is already clear. Now fish stocks face another pressure. Fish will shrink up to a quarter of their size by 2050 as a result of climate change, according to a new study.  

The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, were based on a computer projection "to see how fish would react to lower levels of oxygen in the water," Matt McGrath at BBC News writes.

Rising oceans temperatures, which scientists attribute to man-made carbon emissions, creates two problems. Gases become less soluble at higher temperatures, meaning a warmer ocean contains less oxygen. Warm waters also "increase the metabolic rate of the fish's body function," lead author William Cheung, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, told BBC News. As a result, the fish need more oxygen to perform basic functions, "so the fish will run out of oxygen for growth at a smaller body size," says Cheung.   


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