It is hard to picture a more provocative place than the hidden, icy, pitch black depths of the ocean. Underneath the ocean surface, a whole unexplored world exists that thrives with mystical creatures that have yet to be discovered. We have only explored 5 percent of the ocean so far, but a looming dark storm that will see a mass extinction of large animals is threatening our future adventures.
According to experts, the effects of climate change could see food for marine life being halved by century’s end meaning that mass extinction of large marine animals is imminent.
A significant factor identified in 31 planet modeling systems is ocean warming which will lead to mass extinction in decades to come. Additionally, ocean acidification and deoxygenation are also factors expected to collapse marine ecosystems.
The bathyal region will be the hardest hit region in the ocean as temperatures are expected to soar leading to a devastating destruction with a 4C warming in contrast to today’s’ oceanic conditions. According to Andrew Thurber from the Oregon State University, it will be an enormous temperature change for such environments.
The change is like experiencing your first summer after eons—millions of years. Additionally, the abyssal region—anywhere from three to six kilometers under the ocean surface, is projected to warm by 0.5 to 1C in the Arctic, North Atlantic, and southern oceans.
As the oceans warm the quantity of food reaching the lower levels is expected to experience a drastic drop. Furthermore, biodiversity in these lower regions will be defined by the amount of food that will reach the seafloor.
It means that in the course of the next eight decades the amount of food will be halved in certain regions of the world. Large marine animals will be the first to experience this shortage. It will lead to the migration of some species and extinction of many of them.
For instance, some regions of the world will have a greater Squid and Jellyfish but fewer cold water coral and fish. Nearly 20 oceanographic research centers across the world were used in a study to gather a comprehensive view of the possible changes we could expect by the end of the century.
Changes are expected to commence in the deeper parts of the ocean and are projected to have a ripple effect on the surface. Specifically, deoxygenated deep sea water could be enveloped in currents rising to the surface, and when they reach the coasts, we can expect to see sea creatures dying in the masses.
Thurber added that will be similar to the massive die-off we saw a decade ago where low-oxygen ocean killed Dungeness Crabs in large numbers as it reached shallow areas. Moreover, deep ocean disruptions could further be worsened when deep-sea fishing and mining start as a consequence of the over-exploitation of shallow waters.
The pressure as a result of overfishing has seen many species of the deep-sea creatures overly exploited by longlining and trolling. With some of them being driven to commercial extinction—Andrew Sweetman.
All politicians in every nook and cranny of our planet should realize the susceptibility of life in the icy cold, pitch black deep-sea due to climatic stressors and its direct consequence on the largest ecosystem of our planet.
This conclusion came shortly after it was found out that the most remote and deepest areas of the ocean trenches in the entire world are extraordinarily polluted because of the large quantities of artificial organic pollutants in a recent study.