You are here: Home / Climate Change Toolkit / Learn / Impacts / Warmer Water Temperatures

Warmer Water Temperatures

As average air temperatures rise, so do the average temperatures of our oceans, lakes and rivers. Open water — which is directly exposed to sunlight — is most dramatically affected.

Already, water temperatures have risen enough to affect aquatic habitats and cause some species to migrate into cooler water. By some estimates, coldwater fish in North America — salmon and trout, for example — could lose as much as half their suitable habitat if average global temperatures increase by 8 degrees Fahrenheit.


What Are the Impacts of Warmer Water?

Warmer water affects many things:

  • Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water. As temperatures rise, the oxygen concentration of water declines.
  • Corals are sensitive to temperature increases. Warmer-than-average waters increase the likelihood that coral reefs will suffer bleaching events.
  • Hurricanes rely on warm water for fuel. A warmer Atlantic Ocean may lead to stronger or more frequent hurricanes.
  • Invasive species and diseases are able to extend their ranges into new territories.
  • Algal blooms may begin earlier in the season, and last longer into the fall.


Rising water temperatures are also a trigger for many other climate change impacts, such as:


Learn More

Document Actions
Bookmark and Share
Filed under: ,

donate-now-new

Conservation News
»
17 Land Trusts Achieve First-Time or Renewed Accreditation

December 17, 2014 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

»
»
Land Trust Alliance Joins #GivingTuesday Movement

November 25, 2014 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

eNews Sign-up » More News »
Daily Earth
"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never before, and which shall never be seen again."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

1660 L St. NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036 info@lta.org ©Copyright 2014 Land Trust Alliance

Privacy Policy | Photo Credits | Site Map | Contact Us