Long-term changes in climate also affect the diversity and abundance of sea life. Various studies have indicated changes in our global climate. Since oceans play a key role in determining global climate (see our web page-Role of the Ocean in Weather) it is important for scientists to study and understand how the oceans function. The TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter launched by NASA (US) and CNES (France) in 1992 has mapped the oceans' topography and provided us with a wealth of information on global ocean circulation. SeaWiFS launced in 1997 keeps watch over the chlorophyll in the oceans and how it responds to changing weather and climate.
Global climate is changing. The debate is now over how much of this global climate change is a result of human interactions (i.e. pollution and the greenhouse effect) and how much is simply nature takings its own course. Global climate changes will affect life on Earth's land and seas. This effect will not only be one of economics, but of human health concerns as well.
Questions that come to mind are:
1. Fishing initially reduces the size of a fish stock. How can this be beneficial?
2. What is meant by maximum sustainable yield?
3. What are some of the factors that affect the maximun sustainable yield of a fish population?
Critical Thinking Questions:
4. What effect might a global climate change where the atmosphere and ocean is warmed by several degrees have on life in the sea?
5. Have we caught nearly all the fish in the ocean? How would you support your answer?