The impacts of a changing climate on aquatic ecosystems



by LORENZO CIOTTI

The impacts of a changing climate on aquatic ecosystems

An increase in the global average temperature would lead to areas in the middle latitudes more subject to desertification phenomena, also by virtue of the prolonged absence of atmospheric precipitation due to drought phenomena and heat waves.

The study Lakes in Ho-t Water: The Impacts of a Changing Climate on Aquatic Ecosystems, published in the Bioscience, told: "Our planet is being subjected to unprecedented climate change, with far-reaching social and ecological repercussions.

Below the waterline, aquatic ecosystems are being affected by multiple climate-related and anthropogenic stressors, the combined effects of which are poorly understood and rarely appreciated at the global stage. A striking consequence of climate change on aquatic ecosystems is that many are experiencing shorter periods of ice cover, as well as earlier and longer summer stratified seasons, which often result in a cascade of ecological and environmental consequences, such as warmer summer water temperatures, alterations in lake mixing and water levels, declines in dissolved oxygen, increased likelihood of cyanobacterial algal blooms, and the loss of habitat for native cold-water fisheries.

The repercussions of a changing climate include impacts on fr eshwater supplies, water quality, biodiversity, and the ecosystem benefits that they provide to society."

The impacts of a changing climate on aquatic ecosystems

An intermediate direct effect would be the modification of atmospheric circulation and its patterns and an acceleration of the global water cycle and a local modification of rainfall regimes.

Some effects on the environment are, at least in part, already attributable to global warming. In its 2001 report the IPCC suggests that the general retreat of continental ice, the retreat of the Arctic ice cap, the rise in sea levels, particularly in those with lower evaporation rates, due to thermal expansion and of the melting of continental ice as well as mountain glaciers, changes in the distribution of rainfall and the increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are attributable in part to global warming. Photo Credits: National Geograohic webiste