Animals and the Climate

Animal scientists, called zoologists, study animal habitats and populations as well as behaviour. They observe the implications of changing conditions. If climate conditions change, animals might face changes to their food, water, and other resources. For example, if plants and animals die during a drought, it will impact the lives of other animals that feed on them.

When the habitat changes, some animals migrate, some move, some adapt, some die, some thrive, and some change their behaviour. For example, animals may look for different food and prey that they would not usually eat if their usual prey moves out of the region or if the vegetation changes.

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RESEARCH: Albatrosses divorce more often when ocean waters are warm

Research scientists think that albatrosses divorce and seek new partners when conditions are harsher than usual, reported Science News in November 2021. The research was documented in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B.

The albatross is a large seabird in the Diomedeidae family. The albatross is a monogamous bird, which means that it stays with the same partner for life. However, when ocean waters are warmer than average, more of the albatross birds break up and look for a new partner, says a recent study.

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RESEARCH: Fish are getting smaller as sea temperatures rise

Scientists think that adult fish are getting smaller as sea temperatures rise. 

Research scientists have been studying the size of fish in the ocean over the past 50 years, since 1970, and they think that they are shrinking in size due to warmer oceans.

At the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, Idongesit Ikpewe and his colleagues have found that warmer seas are linked to changes in fish size. They looked at trends in four commercially fished species: cod, haddock, whiting, and saithe. They researched these fish in two locations: (1) the North Sea and (2) in the waters of Scotland. 

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