ocean ecosystem and climate warming

ocean ecosystem and climate warming - Jeff Chen Chem 22L...

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Jeff Chen Chem 22L September 22, 2007 Ocean Ecosystem and Climate Warming As the biggest geographical feature on earth, the oceans cover about 71 percent of the entire world’s surface; much larger than anything else. It is because of this fact that the ocean is inherently interconnected with the entire lifecycle on the planet (“Coastal”). The trade winds and ocean currents of the sea influence the living habitats of countless species of animals, trade and commerce of humans, and the weather in different regions of the world. Yet, the ocean is being changed as the climate gradually warms. Just like a chemical equilibrium that has been shifted out of balance, this causes the ocean ecosystems to respond to the altering conditions. The paper “Response of Ocean Ecosystems to Climate Warming” details this problem and attempts to analyze the effects of climate warming upon different ecosystems in the world’s oceans. This research is of interest as much of the world’s population depends upon the ocean and the conditions of the marine fisheries for their daily survival. A change in the status quo of the oceans could possibly displace millions of people and take away the livelihood of millions more. In addition, one way of measuring the health of the environment is to look at the biodiversity of the region; as the climate and ocean changes, species that live in a narrow spectrum could possibly be forced into extinction, thereby decreasing biodiversity. This is not to say that climate change is the sole cause of changing ocean ecosystems, but it is a relatively intangible and long term factor that is harder to regulate and understand than other human factors. In order to understand what is happening, the paper defined several concrete goals as a means of examining the current condition of the oceans. While these goals may be specific to a special ocean region, for example the marginal sea ice zone near the Antarctic, they are
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course CHEM 22L taught by Professor Mukundan during the Fall '07 term at Duke.

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ocean ecosystem and climate warming - Jeff Chen Chem 22L...

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