Science/Tech

Climate Change Effects: Water Bodies Mostly Affected By Global Warming Revealed

The effects of climate change have been growing across the globe, with some areas expected to suffer from its impact on major sources of food. 

A new study shows that many regions are already beginning to see warming waters, a problem that may affect the productivity of fisheries. Such condition could affect over half the world's population that rely on fish as well as the over 56 million people employed by or subsisting on fisheries, Science Daily reported Thursday

The findings, published in the journal Science, highlighted that fish population around the world has already been affected by climate change. 

For the study, the researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara, looked at the changes in the availability of fish for food from 1930 to 2010. They assessed historical abundance data for 124 species in 38 regions worldwide and compared the data to records of ocean temperature.

The team found that the vast regional discrepancies due to warming waters negatively affected eight percent of global fish population, while four percent saw positive impacts. 

The bodies of water already being affected by the impacts of climate change include: 

  • The Sea of Japan 
  • North Sea
  • Iberian Coastal 
  • Kuroshio Current 
  • The Celtic-Biscay Shelf

East Asia saw the largest warming-linked declines in fish production, with 15 to 35 percent lost in fisheries productivity over the past years. 

"This means 15 to 35 percent less fish available for food and employment in a region with some of the fastest growing human populations in the world," lead researcher Christopher Free, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, said in the study. 

Meanwhile, some regions saw an increase in production, including the Labrador-Newfoundland region, Baltic Sea, Indian Ocean and northeastern United States.

"We were surprised how strongly fish populations around the world have already been affected by warming," Free said. However, among the populations studied, the climate “losers” still outweigh the climate “winners.”

The researchers then called for improving fisheries management to address the growing threats of climate change. 

"Failing to adapt to changing fisheries productivity will result in less food and fewer profits relative to today," Free said. 

Climate change Pictured: A dead fish lies in the sand at the San Luis Reservoir July 16, 2007 in Gustine, California. David Paul Morris/Getty Images

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