Polar bears and other animals from marine areas could disappear if ocean temperatures rise by an average of 2.8 degrees Celsius.
The polar bears and other animals could become extinct by the end of this century if temperatures continue to rise oceans at the current pace, they warned Monday marine biologists.
Warming temperatures can cause catastrophic loss of marine wildlife and drastic changes in ocean food webs by 2100, said scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina in a report published in the newspaper Nature Climate Change.
Much of the current marine fauna will not be able to tolerate ocean temperatures expected to rise by an average of 2.8 degrees Celsius, according to the study.
“With a warming of this magnitude, we expect the loss of many, if not most, of animal species from the marine protected areas at the turn of the century,” said the study led by John Bruno, a biologist at the University of Carolina at North in Chapel Hill.
The creation of marine protected areas (considered as sanctuaries for polar bears, coral reefs and other animals ), are threatened by human actions such as fishing and oil extraction and have not been able to preserve the species from the effects of global warming, the scientists said.
Reduced concentrations of oxygen in the ocean, one of the consequences of warming, will make marine protected areas uninhabitable for most species.
There are currently 8,236 marine protected areas in the world, although they only cover 4 percent of the ocean’s surface.
In the National Marine Sanctuary of the Florida Keys, a large number of corals have been destroyed by bleaching and diseases related to high temperatures, the study said.
Current protection measures will not be effective by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise to the current extent, the researchers said.
Richard Aronson, the co-author of the study and head of the department of ocean engineering and marine sciences at the Florida University of Technology, noted that Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are particularly at risk.
Source: El Financiero