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Why the loss of sharks is accelerating climate change


The ocean heavily relies on sharks as predators to balance its delicate ecosystem. The effects of climate change are taking their toll underwater and causing deep sea predators such as sharks to die out.

A study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology suggests that if herbivores such as seacows lose their predators, the ecosystem will be damaged.

For example, too many grazing seacows and an increase in temperatue makes it harder for seagrass to regenerate, which disrupts biodiversity.

Environmental charities such as Shark Trust are working to protect the ocean – but the adjustment of climate-curbing policies to help protect our planet is also essential.

The effects of climate change are becoming more and more visible as we fail to find eco-friendly alternatives to notoriously pollutive human activities. However, the effects are becoming increasingly apparent underwater — deep sea predators like sharks are rapidly dying out, which is expected to further exacerbate habitat degradation more than anything else, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology ,

“Our results suggest that changes to herbivore behaviors triggered by loss of predation risk can undermine ecological resilience to [extreme climactic events], particularly where long‐lived herbivores are abundant,” […]

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