Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Antarctic fish should survive global warming

Canterbury research findings show Antarctic fish should survive global warming

July 24, 2014

A University of Canterbury student researcher is investigating how emerald rock fish in the Antarctic can adjust and survive the predicted global and sea temperature increase.

After the formation of the Antarctic continent about 25-30 million years ago, seawater around Antarctica cooled to its current temperature of approximately minus -1.9°C degrees.

Canterbury postgraduate Charlotte Austin says Antarctic cod dominate the Southern Ocean and due to a wide range of predators including whales, orca, seals, penguins and other fish, they are vital to the Antarctic food-web and ecosystem.

Several species have been targeted by humans for commercial fisheries with varying success. The Antarctic toothfish is targeted for commercial consumption and the sustainability of this fishery is a subject of contention.

``The adult emerald rock cod, the species my research focuses on is about 170mm in length while the largest, the Antarctic toothfish, can exceed two metres when fully grown.

``Climate change is a major area of scientific study. Studies show air and ocean temperatures in Antarctica are increasing rapidly. Conservative estimates predict areas of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica will increase by approximately 2°Cdeg in the next century. I want to find out if Emerald rock cod can adjust and survive this potential increase.

``I have been lucky enough, through the University of Canterbury and Antarctica New Zealand, to have two life changing research seasons over consecutive summers at Scott Base. I am very passionate about Antarctica and hope to carve out a career researching the fish that live there.

``During the last two summers our team has travelled for several hours to catch fish in holes drilled through the sea ice on these trips. Fish were kept in the aquarium at Scott Base and also flown to the University of Canterbury where longer experiments could take place.

``In my research, fish were able to fully recover from short exposures to temperatures up to +6°Cdeg but long periods of time at +4°Cdeg was fatal. However if temperature increase was gradual all fish tested survived the length of the experiment (56 days) at +3°C, and were able to successfully digest food, a vital physiological process for survival.’’

The results of Austin’s research suggests gradual ocean warming up to +3°Cdeg may not push this species beyond its physiological limit and provides some optimism for the survival of this species if ocean temperature in Antarctic doesn’t exceed the predicted 2°Cdeg increase.

Austin says her research, supported by the university’s Gateway Antarctic director Professor Bryan Storey, through the opportunities presented to her by the University of Canterbury, have allowed her to achieve a lifelong dream.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news