The oceans have seen dramatic changes over the last 50 years, with an alarming rise in the number of plankton and coral bleaching events, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
But what has happened in the marine environment over the past 40 years hasn’t been as dramatic as scientists have hoped, with many marine species losing out.
Here are five of the most threatened species in the oceans.1.
Coral bleaching Coral bleached coral on the western coast of Queensland.
Credit: Joe Penney2.
Dung beetlesDung beetles (pictured above) are a type of parasitic worm that feeds on marine organisms, including corals.
They are found in the western ocean and are known to cause significant damage to corals and the surrounding marine environment.
Scientists estimate that over half a billion tons of their excrement are dumped into the ocean every year, which accounts for roughly 10% of all the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere each year.
Dung beetle larvae are seen on the ocean surface during the rainy season in B.C.3.
Marine lifeA new study published in the journal Science indicates that the global ocean has been experiencing more ocean acidification than scientists previously thought.
Coral reefs are a prime example, with some coral bleached and other corals dying.
Acidification has been linked to the release of carbon from the oceans into the environment, as well as the formation of acidification zones and the growth of new coral species.
Researchers from the University of Queensland and the University at Buffalo studied coral reefs around the world and found that over the course of the past 50 years more coral was dying than they had expected.
The researchers found that coral bleaches are increasing in frequency and severity.
The bleaching was particularly dramatic in the Atlantic Ocean and the western Pacific, where coral reefs were already bleaching due to ocean acidity.
This increased the risk of further bleaching.
Scientists believe that over time, the increased acidity could damage coral and its ecosystems and make them vulnerable to further bleaches.
Coral reef systems are crucial for marine life, and have an important role in regulating ocean temperatures and regulating the carbon cycle.4.
Bacterial infectionsBacterial infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes.
Bacteria are often found in a wide variety of marine species, including fish, shellfish, crabs, plankton, planktic algae, and algae.
The ocean is a great reservoir for bacteria, with species such as corals, oysters, and sea stars all able to grow in it.
The amount of bacteria in the ocean can vary wildly depending on the species of bacteria and its habitat.
The more bacteria there are, the more likely it is that they will colonise other marine organisms.
For example, the amount and variety of bacteria found in plankton can vary from species to species.
The study found that bacterial infections have increased in the past decade due to climate change, but that it had actually been increasing in the absence of human activity.5.
Sea level riseSea level rise is an area of climate change that has been a concern for a long time.
According to NASA, sea level rise could increase by as much as 3 metres by the year 2100.
This could affect coasts from Florida to California, and in particular the Great Barrier Reef.
It is predicted that sea level will rise at least 10 metres by 2040, with sea levels rising an average of 1.3 metres per year.