Studies show potential impact of climate on Arctic species

Federal research focuses on Arctic cod northern rock sole

Findings of two projects released on April 29 by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are shedding some light on the potential impact of climate change on some Arctic marine species.

The second study provides good news about the ability of northern rock sole to withstand changes due to higher pH levels in the ocean, or an increasingly more acidic ocean, NOAA researchers said.

Results of this study by NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab and Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center were published in late April in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

The study found that reduced pH levels predicted for ocean acidification did not hamper growth and development of young northern rock sole.

The study authors cautions, however, that there are other potential impacts to northern rock sole that have yet to be examined as ocean acidification may alter the abundance of the tiny crustaceans that small rock sole feed on. In addition, elevated carbon dioxide levels have been shown to disrupt feeding and migration behaviors in other fish species.

More information on these studies is online at

Margaret Bauman, The Cordova Times, 3 May 2015. Full article.

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