Rising ocean temperatures force marine animals towards the poles
Species that live in the world's oceans are fleeing towards the Earth's poles in a desperate attempt to escape rising water temperatures closer to the equator.
Researchers studied more than 300 species — including plants, mammals and birds — to see where the majority of species are living today.
The study looked at more than 100 years worth of data and discovered that populations are now blossoming closer to the poles.
At the same time, population numbers of marine creatures and plants are dwindling near the equator, as they struggle to adapt to warmer waters.
All animals and plants that live in the oceans have a natural range in which they have adapted to survive in.
These often span vast areas, with some species having a range of hundreds of miles.
But when academics from the universities of Bristol and Exeter studied the oceanic life, they found a shift in where the populations were thriving in favour of the polar ends of these ranges.
The team believes the study, published in the journal Current Biology, indicates rising temperatures have led to widespread changes in population size and distribution of marine species.
Martin Genner, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Bristol and senior study author, said: 'The main surprise is how pervasive the effects were.
'We found the same trend across all groups of marine life we looked at, from plankton to marine invertebrates, and from fish to seabirds.'
The world's oceans have warmed by an average of 1°C since pre-industrial times, the ...
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