Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fish Will Start Losing Sense of Smell as Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise, Study Finds

With human technologies thriving, more pollution is prevalent. As carbon dioxide is released, 30% of it is absorbed by the ocean and turns into carbonic acid. Studies have recorded that with an increase of carbon dioxide, fish will lose their sense of smell with the chemicals in the water. This makes it harder for them to detect food, predators; especially when they cannot see clearly. Fish are important because they are part of the natural ecosystem and food chain. Scientists placed sea bass in the carbon dioxide level that is predicted in 2100. The results showed that fish had to be 42% closer to a chemical to detect it and that they were behaving differently (they didn't swim as much and only moved five seconds at a time).

This is a critical problem that needs to be addressed promptly. With fish losing their sense of smell, their populations will decline and that will cause the aquatic ecosystem to collapse since fish have to feed on other fish. Not only will the aquatic environment be effected, but humans and other animals also feed on fish. The decline in fish will have a major effect on both the ecosystem and food chain.

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  1. I agree that although it may seem small, this loss of an important sense to hunt food will cause a cascade of events. Ocean populations will decrease, affecting other populations such as humans which you mentioned. This reminds me about an article I read about sharks. Many people fear sharks and will kill them or use them for shark fin soup, killing off populations. They are the king of the sea and control their entire food chain. So, people do need to think about the adverse affects.

  2. I also agree. The future does not look bright for marine life. I wonder if genetic rescue could be applied to this issue. Maybe fish could be bred in captivity with resistance to chemicals in the water. Then these fish could be introduced to struggling populations to reproduce and introduce the genes. It is sad, but this strategy seems more feasible than restricting pollution.

  3. This is a critical problem that has sadly taken effect on the aquatic ecosystem and it looks like its only getting progressively worse. As Pete mention, we may be witness to evolutionary events if these marine animals are able to build resistance to the chemicals in water and hopefully produce offspring that would carry out the sense of smell in these chemical ridden environments.

  4. I think that this is a interesting point. I think this would have a huge impact on the world as a whole and the ocean ecosystem, which could be a bad thing for humans.