Climate change, multiple stressors, and responses of marine biota

Climate change is ongoing and will be further aggravated if greenhouse gas emissions, and other anthropogenic pressures, remain unabated (IPCC 2013). Such scenario will imply a marked change on several abiotic parameters caused by said gases, with a special highlight for carbon dioxide (CO2), which constitutes the majority of anthropogenic emissions. These abiotic alterations occur in all physical realms on the planet, with the oceans and the life they sustain being
threatened by multiple fronts. Coined as “the deadly trio,” climate change is expressed via three main stressors in the marine realm: increasing surface temperature (ocean warming), decreasing mean pH (ocean acidification), and
decreasing mean oxygen content (ocean deoxygenation). These abiotic stressors impact biological responses and traits in a varied number of ways, displaying interactive effects on marine biota. In this entry, we will shortly explain the
physicochemical changes associated with these stressors while providing an overview of their hampering effects on marine biota at different levels of biological organization – from molecules to ecosystems. Moreover, we will discuss HOW these stressors may potentially interact under realistic scenarios and the consequent impacts on marine life in the ocean of tomorrow.

Sampaio E. & Rosa R., 2019. Climate change, multiple stressors, and responses of marine biota. In: Filho W. L. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Climate Action, pp 1-13. Springer Nature, Basingstoke. Chapter.

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