Avian Ocean Alert.

Author:Shepherd, Robyn

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a report outlining how climate change negatively is impacting the ocean at an accelerating rate. 'With already declining populations, climate change impacts like sea-level rise, warming oceans, and ocean acidification further threaten seabirds throughout every part of their life cycle," says Karen Hyun, vice president of Coastal Conservation at the National Audubon Society.

"Right now, seabirds are imperiled. Their populations have declined by 70% since 1950." As the ocean absorbs excess heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it warms and expands, which leads water levels to rise higher than normal. Additionally, excess dissolved carbon dioxide creates a more-acidic underwater environment. Ocean warming, sea level rise, and ocean acidification all negatively affect seabirds.

Scientists predict that, by 2100, sea levels will rise from one to eight feet, causing flooding that destroys habitats of both birds and people. Ocean warming causes oxygen and plankton declines, which both are crucial to seabirds' main prey: forage fish. As a result, forage fish populations are declining and moving. This causes seabirds that nest on land to...

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