A domino effect
As our planet and our oceans warm, the habits and habitats of marine wildlife change, too. Fish, sharks and crustaceans that are normally found within a certain temperature range are forced to pack up and move. Why is that a big deal? Lots of reasons.
In Maine, for example, lobster fishing is a $495 million a year industry. But fisherman are catching fewer lobsters (millions of pounds less each year), and the population is expected to continue to decline as these crustaceans migrate toward the cooler waters of Canada. What does that mean for future jobs and state revenue?
In California, sea lions are dying because sardines and anchovies, which comprise their typical diet, are vanishing in the warming waters, leading sea lions to feed on less-nutritious fish. More than 3,000 sea lion pups washed ashore in 2015 — more than 15 times the annual average. One scientist told National Geographic the number was "unprecedented."
From prey to predators, take a look at eight ocean creatures who are now calling more northern parts of the oceans home.