IUCN report warns that ‘truly staggering’ rate of warming is changing the behaviour of marine species – reducing fishing zones and spreading disease.
The soaring temperature of the oceans is the ‘greatest hidden challenge of our generation’ ‘that is altering the make-up of marine species – shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans – according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming.
The oceans have already sucked up an enormous amount of heat due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions – affecting marine species from microbes to whales – according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report involving the work of 80 scientists from a dozen countries.
The profound changes underway in the oceans are starting to impact people – the report states.
‘Due to a domino effect key human sectors are at threat – especially fisheries – aquaculture – coastal risk management – health and coastal tourism’.
Dan Laffoley – IUCN marine adviser and one of the report’s lead authors said: ‘What we are seeing now is running well ahead of what we can cope with. The overall outlook is pretty gloomy.
‘We perhaps haven’t realised the gross effect we are having on the oceans – we don’t appreciate what they do for us.