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Monday, July 5, 2010

Impact of climate change on the world’s marine ecosystems, Science, 328 (2010), O. Hoegh-Guldberg & J. F. Bruno

Science (18 June 2010), Vol. 328, No. 5985, pp. 1523-1528; doi: 10.1126/science.1189930

The impact of climate change on the world’s marine ecosystems

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg1,* and John F. Bruno1,2
Marine ecosystems are centrally important to the biology of the planet, yet a comprehensive understanding of how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them has been poorly developed. Recent studies indicate that rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease. Although there is considerable uncertainty about the spatial and temporal details, climate change is clearly and fundamentally altering ocean ecosystems. Further change will continue to create enormous challenges and costs for societies worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.
1 Ocean and Coasts Program, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.
2 Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. 

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