Use at least three sources. Include at least 3 quotes from …

Use at least three sources. Include at least 3 quotes from your sources enclosed in quotation marks and cited in-line by reference to your reference list.  Example: “words you copied” (citation) These quotes should be one full sentence not altered or paraphrased. Cite your sources.


The topic of this assignment is to analyze the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems. Climate change refers to long-term changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other aspects of the earth’s climate system. It is primarily caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, which release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Marine ecosystems are highly sensitive to changes in climate. They encompass a diverse range of habitats, including coral reefs, estuaries, mangroves, and open ocean. These ecosystems support a wide array of marine species and are crucial for maintaining biodiversity and providing various ecosystem services.

One of the major impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems is the rising sea temperatures. According to a study by Hoegh-Guldberg et al. (2018), the increasing global temperatures are causing prolonged and more frequent marine heatwaves. These heatwaves have detrimental effects on marine organisms, particularly coral reefs. The study states, “Coral reefs are highly sensitive to temperature increases, and prolonged heatwaves can lead to mass coral bleaching and mortality” (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2018, p. 245). Coral bleaching occurs when corals expel their symbiotic algae due to stress, resulting in a loss of color and potentially leading to their death.

Another consequence of climate change on marine ecosystems is ocean acidification. When carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, which lowers the pH of the water. This acidification hampers the ability of marine organisms to build and maintain their shells or skeletons, as highlighted by Doney et al. (2009). They claim that “ocean acidification may have profound effects on global marine biodiversity, particularly for calcifying organisms such as corals, mollusks, and some planktonic organisms” (Doney et al., 2009, p. 369). The dissolution of shells and skeletons can disrupt the entire food web, affecting organisms ranging from tiny phytoplankton to larger predators.

Furthermore, climate change can alter the distribution and abundance of marine species. As temperatures shift, species that are adapted to specific temperature ranges may be forced to migrate or face declines in their populations. A study by Poloczanska et al. (2013) warns that “marine species have shifted their distributions towards cooler regions at an average rate of 72 km per decade in response to ocean warming” (Poloczanska et al., 2013, p. 1535). This movement of species can have significant implications for ecosystem functioning and fisheries, as it may disrupt predator-prey relationships and lead to shifts in the composition and productivity of marine communities.

In conclusion, climate change has significant impacts on marine ecosystems, including increased sea temperatures, ocean acidification, and alterations in the distribution and abundance of species. The consequences of these changes are widespread and have far-reaching implications for marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is crucial to address and mitigate the causes of climate change to protect and preserve the health and resilience of marine ecosystems.

Doney, S. C., Fabry, V. J., Feely, R. A., & Kleypas, J. A. (2009). Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual Review of Marine Science, 1(1), 169-192.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Cai, R., Poloczanska, E. S., Brewer, P. G., Sundby, S., Hilmi, K., … & Sarmiento, J. L. (2018). The Ocean. In Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C Above Pre-industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Efforts to Eradicate Poverty (p. 245). World Meteorological Organization.

Poloczanska, E. S., Brown, C. J., Sydeman, W. J., Kiessling, W., Schoeman, D. S., Moore, P. J., … & Richardson, A. J. (2013). Global imprint of climate change on marine life. Nature Climate Change, 3(10), 919-925.

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