(ORDO NEWS) — About 90% of marine species will disappear by the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions do not change.
Such a forecast was put forward by scientists led by Dalhousie University in Canada, reports Nature.
The team assessed climate risks for 25,000 species of sea creatures. They focused on those who live in the upper layers of the water, at a depth of up to 100 meters, since they are most susceptible to climate change.
The study showed that if the rate of emissions does not change, the temperature of the World Ocean by 2100 will increase by 3-5 degrees Celsius. This will put 90% of the species at high to critical risk.
Scientists noted that extinction threatens not only animals, but also plants, bacteria and protozoa. Their extinction will have serious consequences for the ecosystem, as food chains will collapse.
According to the researchers, regions with high biodiversity will be most affected by climate change: the Gulf of Thailand, the Coral Triangle, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean, the coastal waters of India and northern Australia.
Large and long-lived sea creatures were recognized as the most vulnerable to extinction. Top predators are at greater risk than those at the bottom of the food chain.
The list of the most endangered species included, in particular, takifugu fish living in heavily affected coastal waters in China, and damselfish living off the Galapagos Islands and the coast of Costa Rica.
A high chance of survival was found in the lantern fish, since it has a short life cycle and is able to live at different depths of the ocean.
Scientists emphasized that previously 90% of marine life died only during the Great Permian extinction 252 million years ago. They noted that reducing emissions would reduce risks for 98% of the species studied.
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