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By living the way we do, our actions have caused climate change, which may not seem bad to us, but it has a huge effect on the oceans and the species that live in the oceans. Climate change is greatly affecting our oceanic creatures. Our actions are causing climate change at an alarming rate, which is as well, causing rapid changes to the ocean. Climate Change is affecting even something as simple as our fish. Sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and rising sea levels are all caused by climate change, which is causing fish to move to colder temperatures. Increased temperatures can affect biological processes of fish in ways such as, “growth, reproduction, swimming ability, and behaviour” (Climate Change Impacts on Fish).
Although it does seem like a bad thing for most fish, some fish do better in warmer sea temperatures since it helps shorten incubation, increase growth rate, and improve swimming ability in juvenile fish. The increase in water temperature also has an effect on the sex of the fish, causing more of one sex than the other. Ocean Acidification has a major effect on fish like, “Fish eggs are more sensitive to pH changes than fish adults, and thus the population numbers may dwindle if this impact is significant. Ocean Acidification has also been shown to reduce the ability of fish larvae to find suitable habitat and find their way home. Lots of species of fish live in and around coral reefs, and most feed on the microbes in the water, which provide fish with their carbon requirements. In general, the overarching effects of ocean acidification on the coral formation and the abundance of carbon in the food chain will impact fish species through habitat and food availability” (Climate Change Impacts on Fish).
The sea level rise affects certain fish like the barramundi since they can live in both saltwater and freshwater. Since the levels are rising, it makes it difficult for them to move between the two. Climate change is also causing coral bleaching. Bleached coral can serve as a lot of problems considering there are many sea creatures that eat coral. Just like fish, ocean acidification is causing coral bleaching, as well as rising sea temperature and extreme weather conditions. Coral reefs are very vulnerable when it comes to ocean acidification. “The rate of skeleton formation, known as calcification, will slow if waters become more acidic and the skeletons of these animals and plants will be weaker. Reefs are continually worn down by storms, and creatures that eat, burrow or dissolve their way through limestone” (Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reef).
The extinction of coral reefs from climate change can also cause a chain of extinctions from creatures that depend on eating coral to live. There are many factors that play into climate change and how that affects the ocean. There is a chain of effects, that does not have a good outcome and can only lead to more extinction.
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