On one hand it creates more habitat for oceanic life, on the other hand, it warms up the oceans and mixes the salt and fresh waters.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ How can the response of such an extremely complex system as the entire marine ecosystem be classified into the ridiculously simple concepts "good" or "bad"? Undoubtedly many species will be pushed to extinction. On the other hand, some will thrive. Some of those species have commercial value to humans, some have aesthetic value, some act as keystone species that many other species rely on, some might have almost no effect if they disappear, or their disappearance might even have a positive effect on other species. How do you even define "good" or "bad" in that context? $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Aug 19, 2014 at 8:00
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    $\begingroup$ @naught101: x-x probably wants to know how life will do in general? Will it be a time of extinction, stable, or even taxon radiation? The rate of change will probably also put lifeforms under pressure. Looking forward to an answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2014 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ So good==more species? $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Aug 19, 2014 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @naught101 I have proposed an edit to the question title that omits ambiguous terms 'good' and 'bad'. $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2014 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @David, Well, that's a less value-laden question, for sure. But now I wonder if it's too broad. However, Mark's answer seems to deal with it well enough. $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Aug 20, 2014 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


Biological communities (ecosystems) commonly change along topographic (bathymetric) slope - because conditions change along the slope. For example, there will be a temperature gradient with elevation along the side of a mountain, and gradients of temperature and the amount of incident sunlight reaching the sea floor just offshore. When climate changes, this can shift conditions up or down the slope.

The organisms of an ecosystem must be able to colonize any "new habit" that may be created by climate change in order to take advantage of it. If conditions shift too quickly for the species to adapt by migration along slope, species may become extinct before they can become established in another area. For example, consider coral reefs, which are dependent upon depth, if sea-level rises too quickly, the population of surviving corals may become too small to successfully colonize reefs in new areas.

The answer to your question is complex. If you search the web for the term velocity of climate change you will find that your question is being actively researched by scientists.


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