Responding to warming in polar oceans: A commentary on Molina et al. (2022)
Antarctic marine species live in one of the most thermally stable environments on Earth. They have evolved in these cold stable conditions for many millions of years. The long period for evolution, the isolation and mixing of populations produced by glacial cycles and the environmental heterogeneity in terms of light, productivity and physical disturbance, has produced a diverse fauna with an estimated 20 000 species, or more, living on the seabed. It has also produced a fauna that is possibly the most sensitive to warming on Earth in an environment that is changing faster than most, if not all, others. There is a great need to understand this threatened biodiversity and to find ways to mitigate the future prospects of species loss in this special environment that supports unique biology including the only vertebrate species on Earth that live without haemoglobin.
Authors: Peck, Lloyd Samuel ORCID record for Lloyd Samuel Peck