Unchecked Global Emissions on Track to Initiate Mass Extinction of Marine life

April 29, 2022

Princeton University researchers report in the journal Science that unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, marine biodiversity could be on track to plummet to levels not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs.

AOS Faculty Member Curtis Deutsch, professor of geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), and Justin Penn, a postdoctoral research associate in geosciences, combined physiological data on marine species with projected climate scenarios and found that as ocean temperature increases and oxygen availability drops, the abundance of marine life crashes. Tropical waters would experience the greatest loss of biodiversity, while polar species are at the highest risk of extinction.

The study found, however, that reversing greenhouse gas emissions could reduce the risk of extinction by more than 70%.

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