Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Impact of Climate Change on the World’s Marine Ecosystems

Science 18 June 2010:

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg1,* and John F. Bruno1,2 University of Queensland


Coral reef with Anthias fish colony.
(Credit: iStockphoto/Pawel Borowka)




Marine ecosystems are centrally important to the biology of the planet, yet a comprehensive understanding of how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them has been poorly developed.The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease. Although there is considerable uncertainty about the spatial and temporal details, climate change is clearly and fundamentally altering ocean ecosystems. Further change will continue to create enormous challenges and costs for societies worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

.1 Ocean and Coasts Program, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.
2 Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: oveh@uq.edu.au

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