Ocean warming is expected to change the distribution of some commercial fish stocks. Here, a man is fishing in the Atlantic ocean off of southern Spain. Credit: Jon Nazca, Reuters
September 06, 2016 · 6:45 PM EDT By Carolyn Beeler
Melting glaciers and bleached corals: We hear about them a lot when it comes to the effects of global warming on our oceans.
But other impacts aren’t so visible — like whole species of fish, seabirds and turtles moving to live in cooler waters closer to the poles.
These changes are highlighted in a new report released this week by the International Union for Conservation of Nature that calls ocean warming “the greatest hidden challenge of our generation.” The report was authored by 80 contributing scientists from a dozen countries, and was released during an international conservation summit in Honolulu.
The findings were stark: The ocean acts as a shield against global warming, absorbing much of the heat and carbon dioxide emitted by humans. Since the 1970s, more than 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse-related heating has been absorbed by the oceans, according to the report.
If it weren’t for the oceans, the authors of the report say Earth’s atmosphere would have warmed nearly 100 degrees since 1955.