Antarctic Coastal Marine Life in a Changing Climate

NIWA marine ecologist Dr Vonda Cummings discusses the likely effects of climate change on marine invertebrates living on the seafloor of the Ross Sea coast.

These organisms have evolved in a very stable environment and are adapted to an extremely narrow range of sea conditions. Relatively large increases in sea temperatures and acidity predicted by the end of this century may outstrip their ability to adapt. Laboratory experiments with common Antarctic shellfish suggest that predicted increases in ocean acidity may threaten shellfish populations.