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

 

How warming oceans increased marine biodiversity

How warming oceans increased marine biodiversity – Expert Reaction

New Zealand has marine fossil records that span the course of 40 million years. Now they’re giving us a glimpse at how marine life responds to a warming ocean.

A new paper in Science has found past biodiversity increased alongside warming ocean temperatures over very long timescales. The study authors say their results provide a baseline for what should be expected from future natural warming in these kinds of marine ecosystems.

The SMC asked experts to comment on the research.

Dr Nic Rawlence, Director Otago Palaeogenetics Lab and Senior Lecturer in Ancient DNA, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, comments:

“The past is the key to the present. How biodiversity responded to climate change in the past can help scientists to predict how plants and animals may respond to human-driven climate change in the future.

“Tim Womack and colleagues at Victoria University of Wellington and the British Museum of Natural History have used Aotearoa New Zealand’s shallow marine mollusc (i.e. seashells) fossil record to examine aspects of this big picture question. This study is only possible with an excellent fossil record, excellent collections and a diverse and well understood fauna – all of which New Zealand has.

“Using the mollusc fossil record, Tim Womack and colleagues showed that over tens of millions of years, increasing ocean temperature due to natural climate change led to increased species richness (i.e. new species arising or species expanding their range) and functional redundancy (i.e. multiple species filling the same role in the ecosystem).

“While this may seem like good news regarding the potential impacts of human-driven climate change, increased species richness may come at the cost of the complete biological turnover of shallow marine molluscs, as has happened at the start of the last Ice Age 2.5 million years ago, and increasing numbers of invasive species, both of which would be very bad indeed.”

No conflict of interest.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Reserve Bank: A least regrets approach to uncertainty

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua makes decisions about official interest rates in a way that is robust in the face of uncertainty about the economy, Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby says in a speech published today*... More>>




Shocking Stuff: Lower Income Areas Paying More For Power

Analysis from Consumer NZ and Powerswitch has found major differences in electricity pricing depending on where you live, with those in lower income areas being hit the hardest... More>>



Science Media Centre: Understanding DDoS cyber attacks – Expert Reaction

Cyber attacks have hit several New Zealand organisations this month, disrupting their online services. The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were the same kind of cyber attack that affected the NZX around this time last year... More>>



Statistics: GDP rises in the June 2021 quarter

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.8 percent in the June 2021 quarter, following a 1.4 percent increase in the March 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. June 2021 quarter GDP was 4.3 percent higher when compared with the December 2019 quarter... More>>


Energy-from-waste: $350 Million Plant To Deliver Renewable Energy Considered

Investigations have begun into the viability of building an Energy-from-Waste plant that will safely convert 350,000 tonnes of waste, that would otherwise be dumped into South Island landfills annually, into renewable electricity... More>>

Olam: Confirms plans for commissioning of NZ dairy plant

OFI, a global leader in natural and sustainable food ingredient solutions, today confirmed plans to develop a new dairy processing facility at Tokoroa. It is now taking expressions of interest from potential farmer suppliers, employees, contractors, and general trade suppliers... More>>