Cold Fish Will Fry 1


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In the Antarctic, fish adapted to the very cold waters with antifreeze proteins to help them survive. Hundreds of species there evolved after a period of rapid cooling tens of millions of years ago. You might expect temperature changes resulting in mass die offs and adaptions would be large, but in some cases even small temperature changes can cause large impacts.

Research conducted at Yale University indicates even a two degree increase in Antarctic waters could lead to extinction of local fish.

“Tens of millions of years ago, rapid cooling in the Antarctic led to the mass extinction of fish acclimated to warmer temperatures, with the surviving fish developing antifreeze proteins. The study shows that new species arose as the fish adapted to fill the ecological gaps left by the extinction. This process eventually gave rise to the 100 species of fish now living in Antarctic waters, which all possess the ability to withstand cold temperatures.

But Near said that these polar adaptations have rendered Antarctic fish unusually sensitive to warmer water temperatures, making climate change a dire threat to Antarctica’s fish populations. A decline in the fish population would cripple the rest of the ecosystem by removing a major food source for penguins and seals, he added.

Sarah Gille ’88, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said that even small temperature changes in certain regions near Antarctica could allow the influx of invasive species more adapted to warmer water. She added that Antarctic waters were by no means the only ecosystem threatened by climate change.

“Species and ecosystems evolve over tens of millions of years in response to changing environmental conditions,” Gille said. “The concern about modern climate change is that it might happen faster than ecosystem response times, and the result could lead to a catastrophic decrease in biodiversity.”

The development of polar climatic conditions that shaped the [evolution] of Antarctic fish is now reversing. The increasing temperature of the Southern Ocean, with the potential for the arrival of invasive species and disruption of food webs, is the greatest threat to the survival of this unparalleled [diversity],” said Yale ecology professor Thomas Near. (Source: Yale Daily News)

Some people might not particularly care about the Antarctic fish, but they are a significant food source for penguins and seals. Some of the penguin species living in the area of Antarctica are Emperors, Adelies, Chinstraps, Gentoos, Kings and Macaronis.
Read more: www.care2.com/ greenliving/ fish-could-die-out-from-climate-change.html#ixzz1nnkzOU2Y

Excerpts from:
Fish Could Die Out from Climate Change by Jake Richardson
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/ fish-could-die-out-from-climate-change.html

Antarctic fish threatened by climate change by By Clinton Wang
http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/ 2012/feb/28/ antarctic-fish-threatened-by-climate-change/

The pics right are some of the animals that count on the artic fish and will probably get a say in the song.

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Songwriters: Help us write Cold Fish Will Fry song. We really need those Arctic and Antarctic fish that need cold water, and that they are gonna die (and fry) if it gets too hot.

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One thought on “Cold Fish Will Fry

  • SteleEly Post author

    Via Grist :: grist.org/news/warming-waters-are-destroyi…

    The Columbia River is many things: the fourth largest U.S. river by volume, the river that generates more hydroelectric power than any other in North America, and now, a mass salmon gravesite. Warming river water has killed or will kill more than 250,000 sockeye salmon this spawning season. Welcome to the latest installment of Spoiler Alerts, where climate change deflates all the balloons.

    Al Jazeera America lays out the grisly details:
    Federal and state fisheries biologists say the warm water is lethal for the cold-water species and is wiping out at least half of this year’s return of 500,000 fish and by the end of the season that death toll could grow to as high as 400,000.

    “We had a really big migration of sockeye,” Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told The Associated Press. “The thing that really hurts is we’re going to lose a majority of those fish.”

    He said up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.
    grist.org/news/warming-waters-are-destroyi…