Marine species affected by climate change include plankton - which forms the basis of marine food chains - corals, fish, polar bears, walruses, seals, sea lions, penguins, and seabirds.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a further rise of between 1.4°C and 5.8°C by the end of the century. Climate change could therefore well be the knock-out punch for many species which are already under stress from overfishing and habitat loss.
The key impacts of climate change on the marine environment are...
One of the most visually dramatic effects of climate change is coral bleaching, a stress response caused by high water temperatures that can lead to coral death.
Recent years have seen widespread and severe coral bleaching episodes around the world, with coral mortality reaching 70% in some regions.
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Most scientists believe that global warming will herald a new era of extreme and unpredictable weather.
Tropical storms and heavier rainfall may increase and so too would the consequent physical damage to coral reefs, other coastal ecosystems, and coastal communities. Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn hit the US Virgin Islands National Park in 1989 and 1995, respectively, and did massive damage to coral ecosystems.
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As the oceans warm, the location of the ideal water temperature may shift for many species.
A study has shown that fish in the North Sea have moved further north or into deeper water in response to rising sea temperatures. Other species may lose their homes for other reasons. The distribution of penguin species in the Antarctic Peninsula region, for example, is changing with reductions in sea ice due to global warming.
More on the impact of climate change on species