Link between Body Size and Climate Change Found

22 Jul

The climate change debate baffles me. I personally don’t care why the Earth is heating up and it doesn’t matter if the change is a natural pattern that occurs or if its caused by humans.  As scientist continue to argue about the causes and governments continue to debate what changes should be made, it is clear that ecosystems around the world are being impacted by the increase in the Earth’s temperature.  If the Earth gets too much hotter, I think we are going to have hard time surviving on our planet. So again, I do not care who or what is causing the change, I think that we need to use all of our superior knowledge to prevent the Earth from heating up too much more.

I have decided to only type this sentiment once and I rarely post on climate change or global warming but I was reading an article from Grist, in their food section about how there is a direct correlation between water temperature and fish size. First of all fish are altering their migratory patterns as a result of the water temperature increase. Daufresne found that individual fish species in the Baltic and North Seas have lost 50% of their body mass over the last 20 to 30 years.  It’s very important that we understand the world around us even if we have no intention of making changes. I am not sure if there was a study, prior to this one, that clearly prove that the atmospheric temperature could impact the size and body structure of a species. It makes sense, everything else aids in natural selection, but I’m not sure how much time people previously spent discussing temperature as a force for natural selection.

Smaller fish are problematic for fisherman. First of all they need to catch a larger quantities of fish to make up for the loss in body size, which could result in fishing younger fish. It could also lead to over fishing and not giving wild fish the time required to repopulate. Secondly, from a physiological point of view, a smaller body size leads to a reduction infecundity- the capcity to reproduce. If we are taking more fish from the oceans and their reproductive capabilities are diminishedtheir numbers will drop dramatically and we do not understand how species are intraconnected and what impact mass extinction of fish species will have on ocean populations.

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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Social Media, sustainability, wildlife


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