Fish! We all love fish, right? From enjoying amazing fish taco to gazing at their beauty at an aquarium, fish are a very important part of many cultures. However, the fish are in need of our help. Climate change is rapidly increasing, the ocean’s waters, and we need to step in before it’s too late.
A study analyzing the climate suggests that the rising temperatures of the ocean as a result of climate change are directly impacting the ocean’s ecosystems. The warmer the water, the less availability there is for oxygen to dissolve, which is why there is much less algae and other sea life in warmer places like Florida or the Caribbean. It may seem like the oceans in these tropical places are much cleaner and healthier because of the beautiful crystal clear waters, but it is quite the opposite. In waters in the Northeast, the darker green water is primarily due to the large amount of plant life as a result of the plentiful amount of oxygen dissolved in the waters.
This deoxygenation of the waters can become detrimental to the ocean’s sea life if left ignored. It is estimated that 70% of the ocean’s sea life will be suffocating due to climate change by the year 2080. It may seem far away, but if left ignored, it will come faster than expected.
The layer of the ocean that is most effected is known as the mesopelagic zone. This zone is roughly 200-1000 meters from the surface, so unlike the surface region, does not get the same amount of oxygen from photosynthesis. As we learned in class, plants need light to perform photosynthesis, and as the ocean gets deeper, there is less light available, meaning less photosynthesis to be done, and therefore less oxygen available to the marine life.
This zone is home to most of the fish that we eat as a result of commercial fishing, which is why it is so important we begin to fix the issue. Fish is a staple food in many different countries and cultures, and if we let the ocean heat up too much, their availability is at severe risk.
Studies show that by lowering greenhouse gas emission, we can slow down the rate of global warming and therefore preserve our precious oceans. This is not going to happen over night, and requires everyone to help out. There’s no greater time than the present, so let’s start saving our oceans one step at a time!