Anthropogenic climate change has become a threat to the biodiversity of the pelagic zone of the tropics

At the current rate of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases by the end of XXI century the tropical latitudes of the World ocean can lose 15% of species of living organisms. According to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the extinction of foraminifera in the tropics began immediately after the last glacial maximum, but now it seeks to scales that do not reach the last 15 thousand years.

The pelagic zone of the ocean, adjacent to the bottom (there is abyssal) and the coast (which washes Litoral) — that is, almost the entire water column. It is in this area inhabited by plankton, nekton and PLASTON, covering almost all marine biodiversity. In recent years, scientists have noted a decline in diversity in the pelagic zone, particularly in the waters of tropical latitudes, and this was associated with anthropogenic climate change, however, still did not have a clear idea of what started this process, whether the human influence, or it fits into the framework of natural variability.

Scientists under the leadership of Mariachi Yasuhara (Moriaki Yasuhara) of the University of Hong Kong studied the dynamics of biodiversity in pelagialy areas of the ocean, since the maximum of the last glaciation and ending with the modern era. For this purpose, they reviewed information about the fossils assigned to 34 species of foraminifera in the global databases ForCenS and MARGO LGM (4138 and 1442 of the sample, respectively).

It turned out that the biodiversity of the tropical regions has started to decline not in the era of the anthropocene: according to the fossilized sediments of the skeletons of foraminifera, this process started 15 thousand years ago, just after the decline of the maximum of the last glaciation.

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