Scientists Warn Fish May Shrink by as Much as 24% by 2050

Posted on October 1, 2012

One side effect of global warming will be smaller fishes. A new study has found that the averaged maximum body weight fish can reach may plunge 14% to 24% by 2050 because of warmer and less-oxygenated oceans. Researchers used computer modeling on over 600 different fish species. The study was published here in the journal Nature Climate Change.

William Cheung, an assistant professor at the UBC Fisheries Centre, and author of the study, said in a statement, "We were surprised to see such a large decrease in fish size. Marine fish are generally known to respond to climate change through changing distribution and seasonality. But the unexpectedly big effect that climate change could have on body size suggests that we may be missing a big piece of the puzzle of understanding climate change effects in the ocean."

A BBC News story about the study says "data from one of the higher emissions scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was used for the study."

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