The Plight of the Planet's Marine Life: Impacts of UVB Radiation
Llabres, M., Agusti, S., Fernandez, M., Canepa, A., Maurin, F., Vidal, F. and Duarte, C.M. 2013. Impact of elevated UVB radiation on marine biota: a meta-analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 131-144.
In an attempt to assess the scope of this ongoing threat to Earth's marine life, the seven scientists analyzed the findings of 1,784 experimental assessments of the impacts of UVB that have been "performed with natural radiation and organisms from different geographical areas, as well as with artificial radiation and cultured organisms at many laboratories around the world." And this meta-analysis revealed, as they describe it, that "increased UVB radiation leads to a sharp increase in mortality rates across marine taxa, with protists, corals, crustaceans and fish eggs and larvae being most sensitive."
As a result of their meta-analysis, Llabres et al. (2013) did indeed find that "mortality rates of marine biota increase rapidly in response to elevated UVB radiation," and they thus conclude that "elevated UVB may have played a role in enhancing biological declines in the ocean" - citing "recent widespread declines in the abundance of marine organisms ranging from corals to fish and krill" - by "inducing synergies with the more proximal drivers," such as rising water temperatures and declining pH values, thus confounding the true nature of influence of these latter two parameters. Such findings suggest that until the stratospheric ozone layer makes a full recovery, caution might be in order before jumping on the climate-alarmist claim bandwagon with respect to global warming and ocean acidification, as changes in temperature and oceanic pH may not be the demons they are often made out to be.
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