Climate Change: Warming Threatens Life In The Ocean’s “Twilight Zone”

Climate change could severely impact life in the deepest zones of our oceans that get sunlight, experts warn. By the end of the century, global warming may have cut lifespans in the so-called twilight zone by as much as 40%. The twilight zone extends from 200m (656ft) and 1,000m (3,281ft).

It is teeming with life, but it was home to fewer organisms during warmer times of Earth’s history, researchers observed. Scientists from the University of Exeter examined records from surviving microscopic shells to look at two warm periods in Earth’s history, approximately 50 million years ago and 15 million years ago. They discovered that much fewer organisms were in the zone during these times because less food from the surface entered the twilight zone as a result of faster bacterial food degradation.

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The study’s lead author, Dr. Katherine Crichton of the University of Exeter, claimed that the rich diversity of twilight zone life evolved in the last few million years when ocean waters were cooling sufficiently to act somewhat like a refrigerator, preserving food for longer and creating better conditions for life to thrive.

A crucial habitat for marine life is the disphotic zone, often known as the twilight zone. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution claims that although it is too dark for photosynthesis to take place, it is home to more fish than the entire ocean as well as a variety of other living forms like microorganisms, plankton, and jellyfish. The scientists created computer simulations of current and potential future events that could occur in the twilight zone as a result of global warming. According to their findings, significant modifications are already taking place.


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