Monday August 15, 2022

San Francisco Chronicle

Enormous disruption is predicted for the California Current marine ecosystem, which runs the length of the West Coast and is considered one of the most rich and abundant ocean regions in the world.

With human-caused climate change, some of the most important species that live in that zone will experience major changes by the end of the century, in some cases facing a 25% lower chance of survival, a new study found.

“Everything from plankton and seaweeds to fish and marine mammals and birds, all of that is dependent on the health or condition of the California Current system,” said Terrie Klinger, a coauthor of the study at the University of Washington.

All of those species will face immense challenges.

The study took into account expected changes to water temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide predicted by the end of the century and examined how those differences will impact a total of 12 important species — including Dungeness crab, anchovy, red sea urchin and kelp — both in terms of their ability to survive, as well as their ability to grow, move, take in oxygen and consume food.

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