Global biodversity could be threatened by marine heatwaves: study

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-05 02:23:20|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LONDON, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Marine heatwaves could have negative effects on a broad range of marine organisms, with major socioeconomic and political ramifications, according to a study released on Monday by Britain's Marine Biological Association.

The study, led by researchers from the Association, found that marine heatwaves vary in their physical manifestations, yet all affect key species and alter ecosystem structure and functioning.

Extreme temperatures experienced during marine heatwaves can have adverse effects on marine organisms, leading to widespread mortality, species range shifts and changes to entire ecosystems and ecological processes, said Dr. Dan Smale from the Association, who led the study.

"The major concern is that the oceans have warmed significantly as a consequence of man-made climate change, so that marine heatwaves have become more frequent and will likely intensify over the coming decades. Just as atmospheric heatwaves can destroy crops, forests and animal populations, marine heatwaves can devastate ocean ecosystems," Smale said.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.