La Jolla, CA, United States (4E) – The leading ocean predators in the North Pacific are in danger of loosing as much as 35 percent of their habitat by the end of the century because of climate change, according to a report published last Sunday in the Nature Climate Change Journal.
A team of 11 American and Canadian researchers analyzed a data compiled from tracking 4,300 open-ocean animals over a decade to check at how predicted temperature changes would alter the areas the creatures depend on for food and shelter.
The scientists found that some habitats could shift by as much as 600 miles while others will remain mostly unchanged and these diversions could affect species in many ways.
It would make the food that sustains some key species already facing threats, such as blue whales and loggerhead turtles, more elusive.
Elliott Hazen, the study’s lead author and a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center said that they will have to travel farther and farther every year just to feed.
Other species with a relatively narrow temperature range, including salmon, blue sharks and mako sharks, fared poorly as well.