Tomorrow’s Oceans – The Effects of Climate Change Under the Sea

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The effects of global warming and climate change on the ocean are still under much debate. Some see the onset of a damaging megadrought while others forecast water temperatures as high as 107ºF. Regardless of the causes or the results, we are seeing major changes in life beneath the sea. Some ocean species are migrating further north, causing shifts in food chains and the fishing industry, while other populations are decreasing at rapid rates.

In fact, the recent revision to the underestimated numbers released earlier now states that “more than 16,000 species (are) threatened with extinction.” According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “One in three amphibians, one in four mammals, one in eight birds and 70% of plants so far assessed for its Red Lists of Threatened Species are believed to be at risk.”

At the same time, there are hundreds of new fish and plant species being discovered in the earth’s waters. Not all of these new faces will survive the ongoing climate change and some can harm other populations – but there have been some amazing discoveries beneath the sea in recent years.

Take a look at 5 of the most unusual new ocean species:

    1. This interesting guy, named the Maluku frogfish, has humanlike vision with front-facing eyes.

(M. Snyder/starknakedfish.com)

    1. The Antarctic Octopus features psychedelic colors not seen in other species.

Photograph © E. Jorgensen/Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

    1. Greenpeace discovered a new sponge in the fragile Bering Sea. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmckLTZlVpg[/youtube]
    2. The Narkidae is a new species of electric ray that uses a sucking action similar to a household vacuum cleaner during feeding.

    1. This baby octopus is one of 1,000 new creatures discovered in 2006 near the Bermuda Triangle.

Photo Credit: Russ Hopcroft, University of Alaska Fairbanks, NOAA, Census of Marine Life, 2006

Be a part of the action – name your own species.

For as little as $5,000 you can name one of the hundreds of new creatures discovered beneath the ocean’s surface each year. Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego is inviting supporters to name a new species for donation amounts that vary depending on the species.

This newly discovered nudibranch, housed in the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, is available to be named by a donor.

Learn more about the effects of climate change on the ocean here.

6 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Oceans – The Effects of Climate Change Under the Sea”

  1. it’s scary what’s happening with our natural areas.

    The Arctic is so bad now that there have actually been waves lapping along the traditional Arctic shipping routes (the NW Passage over Canada and the North Sea Route over Russia).

    The fact that these traditional iced areas are experiencing waves, as well as the fact that more ice is drifting away from the Arctic as well as melting, and it makes for a scary scenario that there may be no ice left in the region before long.

    The impact of that on the wildlife and the planet as a whole is just too frightening to imagine.

  2. I wish I had $5,000 to name a new species. They should really advertise this opportunity and get celebrity endorsements. I bet it would catch on and the donations would pour in. Some people spend thousands of dollars on clothing they wear once or twice – surely it wouldn’t take much to stand up for this cause.

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