(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (USA) have shown that climate change can lead to a decrease in the synthesis of essential omega-3 fatty acids produced by plankton.
According to the results, published in the journal Science, global warming due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will reduce the access of fish and people to important nutrients.
Lipids are a class of biomolecules produced and used by organisms for energy storage, membrane structure, and signaling.
The researchers analyzed 930 lipid samples from across the world’s oceans using precise, high-resolution mass spectrometry.
They studied planktonic lipidomes collections of hundreds to thousands of lipids in a sample collected from 146 locations during seven oceanographic research expeditions from 2013 to 2018.
The saturation state (number of double bonds) of 10 major classes of glycerolipids was studied, and it was found that temperature strongly affects the content of various types of fatty acids.
In addition, the researchers found a clear transition from lipids with more unsaturated fatty acids at lower temperatures to saturated fatty acids at higher temperatures.
Scientists have mapped sea surface temperatures at the end of the 21st century for various climate scenarios.
Under climate scenario SSP5-85, which is considered a worst-case scenario with continued high greenhouse gas emissions, some regions of the ocean, especially at higher latitudes, will experience a sharp decline of 25 percent in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
EPA is one of the most nutritious omega-3 fatty acids with beneficial health effects and is widely available as a dietary supplement.
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