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Thu, Feb

Coping With Climate Stress in Antarctica

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Some Antarctic fish living in the planet’s coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can’t deal with both stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The study, published recently in the journal Global Change Biology, of emerald rock cod is the first to show that Antarctic fishes may make trade-offs in their physiology and behavior to cope with ocean acidification and warming waters.

(The research is described in a web feature, “The Last Stop,” at the UC Davis Science & Climate website.)

“In dealing with climate stress, these fish are really bad multitaskers,” said senior author Anne Todgham, an associate professor with the UC Davis Department of Animal Science. “They seem quite capable of coping with increases in CO2, and they can compensate for some warming. But they can’t deal with both stressors at the same time. That’s a problem because those things happen together — you don’t get CO2 dissolving in the ocean independent of warming.”

Continue reading at University of California - Davis

Image via Rob Robbins, US Antarctic Program