Global warming has many effects on our planet, and this goes for our marine life too. Many of our sea animals are going extinct or are in danger of going extinct very soon. Global warming is when the Earth’s temperature rises. Global warming, or climate change, has been going on for more than 50 years. It is caused by what we call the Greenhouse Effect.
The Greenhouse Effect is when carbon and pollution (CO2, or carbon dioxide), is released into the Earth’s atmosphere and absorb heat and radiation from the sun. This is what warms our planet so that life can exist. But since the beginning of the industrial age, we have released a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. Not only is this caused by the millions of power plants around the world but the cars we drive. That extra carbon means that too much heat is being trapped, raising the temperature of the planet too much.
In the 1950s, things were not nearly as bad as they are now. Not only is the surface temperature of our planet rising more every year but it is also impacting our ocean animals. Because we can’t see what is going on under the sea, not too much is being done about the devastating effects Global warming is having on our sea life. Here is more information on how marine life is affected by Global warming.
How Sea Life is Going Away Because of Global Warming
- Image: Public Domain, by Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy, via Wikimedia Commons
Marine animals are the most significant part of sea life there is. They rely on the smaller tropical fish as their food sources, and if something happens to disrupt this food source, they won’t have anything to eat. The sea life we are most concerned about are the marine animals closest to the Pole. This is mainly in the Arctic where many polar bears, as well as leopard seals, are increasingly losing their habitats because of the ice melting rapidly and the sea levels rising so quickly. If we don’t do something soon to prevent any more damage from happening, they will not have a home much longer.
Here is some information on what is going on under the sea that many of us may not realize.
What is Happening Under the Sea Now
It isn’t a pretty picture, for Marine life.
Marine animals forced to move to new habitats.
Much of our marine life is being forced out of their natural habitats and are being forced to migrate to a new habitat just to survive. This is especially true about the salt water or cold water species. They are on the move searching for deeper or colder water to be able to survive.
Sea creatures getting more diseases
Scientists are finding more and more diseases in sea creatures, especially the shell-fish. Some lobsters are getting what is called lobster shell disease. This is because they are being forced to live in water that is too cold for them.
Coral bleaching is happening
Much of the coral reefs are going through a bleaching phase because of the impact that global warming has on it. As the temperatures in our oceans increase to more than the coral can handle, they are expelling their algae and showing white skeletons, or what they call bleaching.
Wetlands are being harmed
The coastal wetlands, sea marshes, and mangroves are now becoming increasingly vulnerable to harm. This is not only because of sea levels rising but also because of droughts happening around the world.
Causes of Global Warming
There are two major causes of Global Warming. One is the fact that we have many coal-burning power plants to make our electricity. While we burn coal for the making of electricity, this releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Carbon (CO2) doesn’t usually leave our atmosphere, typically staying in the lower levels. So, when we flood the atmosphere with carbon, it causes too much warming. The second thing that is causing Global Warming is our mode of transportation. These two things that we use on a daily basis are the leading causes of Global Warming. Because of these pollutants in our atmosphere, our ocean animals are suffering as much as we are, if not more.
Global Warming is the primary cause of our sea life going through these devastating effects. They are not just forced to migrate to different habitats but are also losing their food sources.
What We Can do to Prevent Further Damage to Our Marine Life Caused by Global Warming
One thing is for sure; we can do our part to stop global warming from getting worse and causing us to lose our marine animals altogether. The first and most important thing we can do is to stop burning coal in power plants for our electricity and make clean energy instead. Here is more information on what you can do to prevent further damage caused by global warming.
- Start riding a bike to work and school instead of driving a car
- Stop polluting. Instead, throw your garbage away in the proper garbage and recycling containers. Recycling is a great way to ensure our children have a great future ahead of them and this can also save our marine life as well.
- Walk more often if you can’t ride a bike to school or work.
- Purchase an electric car instead of a car that runs on gasoline.
- Keep the oceans and other waterways clean by not throwing your garbage into them.
Which Sea Life is Most Affected by Global Warming?
The sea life that is the most affected by global warming includes plankton, polar bears, corals, fish, walruses, sea lions and seals, penguins, and seabirds. The plankton forms the base of the food supply chain for the more prominent marine life, and with it being affected, the rest are indeed being impacted by this devastating problem.
Currently, not only is our marine life being affected by overfishing and habitat change and loss, but they could be pretty well extinct by then if we don’t stop further damage right now.
People Are Being Affected by Global Warming Too
Not just our marine life is being affected by global warming. Although our actions are to blame for this catastrophe, we are being affected by climate change as well. We have had extreme and severe weather a lot within the past 50 or more years, and it is only going to get worse if something is not done about it now.
With things like tropical storms and major flooding going on because of the increase in temperature and rainfall, devastating things are happening to people right now. People are dying from tropical storms. Thinking back to the many hurricanes we have had, we could prevent this by our good actions. However, if we continue what we are doing and don’t stop what we are doing to the Earth now, we are going to have an increase in tropical storms and more severe weather.
The fact is, back in 2015, there was a pledge made to clean our energy making process. However, it has not even started yet. How do we expect to save the planet if we continue to do what we are doing now?