Oceans Get Gloomy Report

Global warming, pollution, fishing all affect marine life
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 9:20 AM CST
Oceans Get Gloomy Report
An iceberg melts off Ammassalik Island in Eastern Greenland in this July 19, 2007 file photo. A record amount of Greenland's ice sheet melted this summer _ 13 billion tons more than the previous high mark _ U.S. scientists reported recently in an ominous new sign of global warming. (AP Photo/John McConnico,...   (Associated Press)

More than 40% of marine ecosystems are being dramatically altered by a combination of pollution, fishing, and global warming, researchers warn in a new study. In fact, no area of the ocean remains unaffected by human activity, reports National Geographic. The biggest problem is global warming, which not only changes temperature but also makes the waters more acidic, altering a delicate ecosystem, say researchers in the journal Science

An impact map created by researchers reveals the shallow waters off the coasts of continents are the hardest-hit spots, but even remote places in the Arctic are feeling the effects. Particular problem spots include the North Sea, and Asia's South China Sea and East China Sea. "The ocean is so big, I figured there would be areas people rarely get to," said the lead researcher. "But there are huge areas that are being impacted by multiple human activities. It was a surprise to me."
  (Read more global warming stories.)

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