Arctic marine megafauna is collapsing due to climate crisis

New research published by a group of scientists has made an interesting retrospective on this topic

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Arctic marine megafauna is collapsing due to climate crisis
© Joe Raedle / Staff Getty Images News

Animal species, both terrestrial and marine, have had to adapt to the harsh Arctic climate. Despite this, there are different types. Land mammals include the polar bear, arctic fox, wolves, reindeer, musk ox, ermine and arctic hare. The avifauna is also very rich, such as the Arctic tern and the frigate bird and the fish fauna including, for example, the large Greenland shark and the small capelan. Among the marine species there are several seals, the walrus and several species of cetaceans, including the Greenland right whale, the narwhal and the beluga. It is also easy to find the presence of the giant squid in the depths.

In the context of global warming, satellite observations and other studies have shown a marked decrease in both the surface and volume of Arctic ice since the end of the 20th century, which has been accelerating dramatically in the last 15 years. Every year the Arctic ice loses substantial quantities, eroding biomes and ecosystems and progressively leading to the collapse of the survival of many species. We recall we are seeing every years hight temperature which will continue for many months, setting disturbing new records that undermine the stability of the global climate.

Arctic
Arctic© Mario Tama / Staff Getty Images News
 

The researchers who conducted the new study Ecological impacts of climate change on Arctic marine megafauna - published on the Trends in ecology & evolution - analysed, in an abstract of their article:

"Global warming affects the Arctic more than any other region. The mass media constantly broadcast apocalyptic visions of climate change threatening Arctic wildlife, especially iconic megafauna such as polar bears, whales and seabirds. Yet, we are just beginning to understand such ecological impacts on the Arctic. Arctic-scale marine megafauna.

This knowledge is geographically and taxonomically biased, with notable deficiencies in the Russian Arctic and a strong focus on exploited species such as cod scientific advances over the past 5 years, we provide ten key questions that will need to be addressed in future work and outline the required methodology. This framework is based on long-term Arctic monitoring that includes local communities, while leveraging high-tech approaches and big data."