Measuring the size of cod caught in the North Sea. New research helps to explain why climate change is causing fish to shrink in size. | Wikimedia Commons
Animals

Climate Change Is Causing Fish to Shrink

Warmer oceans mean fish require more oxygen, but their gills are not growing at the same rate as their metabolism, which is causing their body size to diminish.

Published On 08/22/2017
8:58 PM EDT
F F ishermen over the past several years have noted that fish appear to be shrinking. That observation was validated in 2014 by research that found commercially important fish stocks in the North Sea, such as sole, herring, and haddock, have decreased in maximum body size over a 40-year period. Scientists suspected that climate change was the culprit, but were unsure how warming waters could lead to fish shrinkage across entire species.
Graphic showing how climate change can cause the bodies of certain marine species to shrink in size | Lindsay Lafreniere
Smokestacks at a power plant | Library of Congress