Climate Change Factors and Impacts on Blue Crab Populations

Introduction

As part of the natural world, humankind has interacted with the environment to some extent throughout its history. If initially, it was a harmonious relationship with other animals and plants, then the human began to show more consumerism. Over time, the world community began to show concern for the processes that were taking place on the planet. One such fundamental phenomenon is global climate change.

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It is crucial to understand that climate change is a broad phenomenon and is linked to many factors, including local and global ones. At the core of this change is an already begun rise in average temperature both in the atmosphere and in the surface layer, which could have negative consequences for natural ecosystems and human beings. It is no exaggeration to say that global warming is now becoming one of the most critical issues for the survival of humankind and its inhabitants.

The intensification of the global environmental crisis is linked to the demographic explosion and the need to meet the growing material needs of people, which have led to the expansion of economic activities and increased human pressure on the environment. As a result, the problems of global environmental pollution, global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, the natural resources of the planet are being depleted, the number of human-made disasters is increasing, and the probability of losing the sustainability of the biosphere, whose economic capacity is finite, is increasing.

For this reason, it is not surprising that rapid climate change is a hot topic for discussion at various international forums, congresses, or UN meetings. However, there is also much prejudice in modern society that climate change is a far-fetched problem or a tool for managing the masses. Specialized international research organizations are working to identify the fact that the climate does tend to change, including human involvement. Among them, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has the most considerable credibility. Its tasks include assessing and monitoring climate change data, determining the likely impacts of climate change, and developing strategies to respond to them.

The World Ocean has strategic importance for our planet, and its presence determines the possibility of the existence of living organisms. In other words, all living creatures inhabiting the land should be obliged to the ocean for the impetus to development. In this regard, information about the impact of climate change on the oceans and seas is particularly acute. Climate change is closely linked not only to observed increases in mean annual temperature but also to the chemical and chemical-physical composition of the biosphere. Changes in acidity, most likely due to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, have significantly affected the form of the World Ocean.

Populations of blue crabs inhabiting the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, in particular, the Chesapeake Bay near the states of Virginia and Maryland, are believed to have already been affected by climate change. This research work aims to examine scientific articles and other materials related to climate change critically and to identify the effects that climate change may have had on the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population.

Historical Reference on Climate Change

The Earth’s climate system includes the atmosphere, ocean, land, and biosphere. The states of the environments within this complex system are described by parameters such as temperature, pressure, density, and flow rate. It is essential to understand that climate change is the fluctuations in the Earth’s climate as whole or individual regions over time, expressed as statistically reliable deviations of weather parameters from multi-year values over a period ranging from decades to millions of years.

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Changes in both average values of weather parameters and changes in the frequency of extreme weather events are taken into account. Natural causes of climate change were shifts in the planetary orbit, changes in the geomagnetic field, movement of continental and oceanic plates, and volcanic eruptions. Throughout the planet’s history, they have influenced the climate and contributed to its cyclical fluctuations, but recently researchers have increasingly linked the accelerated rate of climate change to human activity.

Climatic Changes Outside of Time

It is wrong to believe that climate change is only anthropogenic or that climate change is only a twenty-first-century problem. Indeed, in the recent past, far fewer researchers and scientists were concerned about how changing natural conditions might affect the world around them. This is most likely because the tools for analysis and, more generally, the technical equipment were more primitive in the past. This period of general industrialization, on the contrary, was aimed at maximizing benefits at all costs, even causing irreparable harm to nature. Today, human interests also share the same desire to help the planet so that in recent times one can hear more and more about the revitalization of environmental communities.

Frequency of Climatic Processes

Based on paleontological data, scientists have concluded that the climate of the Earth was never constant: cold glaciers and vice versa replaced warm periods. Throughout the history of our planet, the Earth has experienced several glacial periods preceded by times of global warming (“Natural Climate Cycles.”). The three main warm eras of the past are usually the climatic extremes of the Pliocene, the last interglacial period, and the Holocene.

Each of these periods corresponded to a different time of the planet’s life. In other words, the climatic changes on our planet are periodic. However, each such change promised the death of a large number of creatures that inhabited the Earth, and probably the impending global warming could lead to the end of humankind (“Natural Climate Cycles.”). The question of how this will affect the planet remains open, but one thing is sure – people are not interested in this outcome. For this reason, it is particularly relevant today to talk about how humans can contribute to preventing climate change.

Reasons for Climate Changing

Climatic systems are changing as a result of both natural internal processes and in response to external influences, both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic, with geological and paleontological data showing the presence of long-term climate cycles, which in the Quaternary period took the form of periodic glaciation, and now falls on the interglacial. In addition to the fact that climate change is moving naturally, thoughtless human activity adds to the problems.

Based on the dynamic processes underlying the formation of the Earth’s climatic conditions, it is not difficult to cite the factors that trigger climate change. Such factors may include:

  • radiation coming from the Sun;
  • greenhouse gases;
  • the ozone layer;
  • change in the Earth’s orbit;
  • the impact of volcanoes;
  • anthropogenic factor.

Not only is climate change a process of increasing temperatures, but it also has a much more global significance. At this point, all geosystems on Earth are being rebuilt, and the increase in temperature is only a small echo of all effects. Global climate, biological, geological, chemical processes, and natural ecosystems are closely linked: changes in one process may affect the others. All this threatens not only the natural system and the global economy but also human existence.

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Anthropogenic Role in the Greenhouse Effect

In public, climate change is often associated with global warming, replacing the private sector with the whole. As noted earlier, global warming over the past centuries is considered to be a manifestation of sudden and rapid climate change. Average annual temperature increases are responsible for the greenhouse effect caused by both natural dynamic processes and human activities (Parry 27).

The greenhouse effect means a delay in the atmosphere of the heat radiated by the planet. Solar radiation passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and warms the surface, but the heat from the warmed planet’s surface cannot escape into space and remains in the atmospheric layers. The cause of this phenomenon is the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic activity that traps long-wave infrared radiation from the planet (Parry 27).

The main components of air – nitrogen, oxygen, and inert gases – are transparent to both visible sunlight and infrared rays. However, the energy of the Earth’s radiation, corresponding to the infrared region of the spectrum, is effectively absorbed by greenhouse gases, increasing the temperature of the surface atmosphere. In other words, the atmosphere, saturated with greenhouse gases, plays the role of an impermeable film through which heat does not escape from the planet’s surface.

The greenhouse effect is most likely the result of the impact of human activity on the surrounding ecosystems. The natural temperature balance on the planet is disturbed, more heat is trapped by the shell of greenhouse gases, which leads to higher temperatures on the Earth’s surface and ocean waters. The leading cause of the greenhouse effect is the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere from industrial plants, car emissions, fires, and other harmful factors (Parry 28).

In addition to disrupting the planet’s thermal balance and global warming, this causes air pollution. It is important to note that as a result of significant changes by humans in the world’s landscapes, river basins, and oceans, pre-existing survival opportunities for species burdened by changing climate have begun to disappear. There are also other anthropogenic factors associated with human industrial and labor activity. These include the contamination of ecosystems by toxic substances, the introduction of invasive alien species, and the overfishing of wildlife by hunting or overfishing.

It is essential to understand, however, that anthropogenic chemical attack on the atmosphere on a geological scale is a short-term phenomenon. Since the main factor – the burning of fossil fuels – will, in any case, stop, this human impact has a characteristic life span of several hundred years. It is more likely that later everything will stabilize at a new equilibrium level or even go back.

Consequences of Climate Changing

Global climate change is not gradual warming but, above all, an imbalance – a steady pumping of the entire climate system against the background of relatively slow average temperature growth. Due to the causal link between natural phenomena, climate change can lead to a whole range of consequences. Among the most striking are the implications:

  • changes in the frequency and intensity of rainfall;
  • global warming;
  • rising sea levels;
  • the melting of Arctic glaciers;
  • the oppression of plant communities;
  • biodiversity threats.

Changes in global climate indicators, such as average annual temperatures and humidity, will result in corresponding changes in inland landscapes. Some natural systems, such as glaciers, coral reefs, or mangroves, are likely to undergo significant changes that can cause irreversible losses to their ecosystems (“How Will Climate Change Affect”). Significant ecosystem disturbance is expected from fires, droughts, floods, landslides and mudslides, parasite infestations, and the emergence of new species in the area.

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The overall impact on wildlife is twofold: some of the most abundant species will start to develop intensively, and rare and vulnerable species will be on the verge of extinction. Overall, climate change is leading to biodiversity loss. For many animal and plant species, the required migration rate will be higher than their adaptive capacity.

Influence on Biodiversity

It is clear that if climate change is global in scope, it will somehow affect the biodiversity of life on Earth. Traditionally, biodiversity is understood as the diversity of experience in all its manifestations on the planet, as well as an indicator of the complexity of the biological system and the variety of its components. Biological diversity is essential for human well-being and the welfare of future generations because it provides people with large quantities of nutrients, building, medicinal, and decorative materials.

Many forms of life on Earth have always had to adapt to climate change. The need to adjust to the new temperature and precipitation patterns has mostly determined the evolutionary changes that have led to the emergence of modern plants and animals (Pecl et al. 14). Climate variability generally does not impede the survival of ecosystems and the preservation of their functions on which essential life goods depend. Nevertheless, according to Pecl et al., climate change is currently one of the most severe threats to the planet’s biodiversity, and its driving role as a driver of change is projected to increase continuously in the coming decades (12).

Many people wrongly assume that if climate change is not visible in daily life, then the problem is far-fetched. Typically, these people argue that the planet has already changed regularly and that the next one is safe. Also, they are to some extent right in the fact that from year to year, the temperature may not change or change slightly. However, it is essential to understand that in this situation, not absolute values of temperature are unique, but the speed of their changes.

There are several reasons why plants and animals find it more challenging to adapt to the global climate change that is happening today. One is the extremely rapid rate of change. In the next century, global average temperatures are expected to rise faster than at any other time in the history of the planet (Parry 19). As a result, many species will simply not be able to adapt quickly enough or move to areas more suitable for their survival.

A rapidly changing climate has a significant impact on both natural and socio-economic processes. In recent years, there have been many case studies aimed at identifying the primary mechanisms for modifying the biosphere under the pressure of changing climate. The work of Seidl et al. (2017) shows that climate impacts on forests are often negative, up to the weakening and loss of forest plantations. Forest fires are the dominant cause of forest loss in the world (Seidl et al. 14).

Adverse weather factors and insect damage contribute to forest mortality in the following ways. Forest fire regimes, ranges, and frequency of forest pest outbreaks are also modified by climate change, but the extreme manifestations of climate change contribute much more. Such impacts include droughts that cause forest plantations to dry out, hurricane winds that cause mass wind and windstorms, and downpours that either flush parts of the forest or cause trees to dry out due to prolonged flooding (Seidl et al. 14).

Mass damage to trees may be caused by excessively wet snow or icing. In heavy hail, the bark of the branches is damaged, resulting in a noticeable weakening of the trees and partial shrinkage. This has serious implications not only for the diversity of life on our planet but also for the livelihoods of people around the world.

World Ocean Rise

This research work focuses on the impact of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population, whose waters are part of the Atlantic Ocean basin. As the second-largest volume of water, the Atlantic Ocean, together with the rest of the water bodies, forms a large part of the hydrosphere, called the World Ocean. It is expected that the continuing trend of increasing temperature will lead to some sea-level rise and changes in the surface and deep circulation of ocean waters (Parry 20).

This, in turn, will affect the distribution and volume of nutrients, including carbon, which will affect biological productivity. An increased amount of ocean water and high temperatures will contribute to the accumulation of carbonates, which may lead to a more severe release of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Changes in ocean level are primarily dependent on hydrometeorological factors that directly affect evaporation and precipitation, as well as additional water inflows from melting cover and mountain glaciers and runoff from continental spaces. In addition to hydrometeorological factors, the level of the World Ocean is influenced by the tectonic factor that determines the shape and volume of the ocean bed and exogenous factors, in particular, geomorphological processes such as sediment accumulation in river mouths, estuaries, and bays or coastal erosion. The ocean level rise observed over the last century is the result of the combined effect of all three factors, with hydrometeorological factors playing a leading role.

Such changes in the structure of the World Ocean are already taking place today. According to the IPCC report, which gathered relevant information by 2019, researchers predict the sea-level rise of at least 30-60 centimeters by the end of this century (24). Under the most unfavorable conditions, the level may rise by one meter. For humanity, this could mean considerable flooding, which in some regions could become annual by 2050 (IPCC 24).

In the IPCC report, experts described the current state of the World Ocean: they now absorb more than 90 percent of the excess heat of the Earth’s climate system and have more than doubled their temperature since 1993 (IPCC 7). This has resulted in more frequent so-called marine heatwaves, temperature anomalies that hurt marine ecosystems. The warming of water reduces the intensity of the mixing of its layers, which prevents the distribution of nutrients and oxygen in them.

Change of Water Temperature Regime

Climate change will affect the hydrological characteristics of surface waters through changes in the seasonal distribution of precipitation and runoff. This will affect river water availability and the saturation of groundwater aquifers, reducing water resources and making it challenging to ensure regular water supply.

The loss of winter snow cover will also significantly reduce the primary source of groundwater supply and spring runoff, resulting in lower water levels in streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands, which will adversely affect species diversity during the growing season. Changes in the flow regime of rivers will affect the species composition of hydrations and their productivity, as the species composition changes according to their ability to cope with the frequency, duration, and magnitude of extreme events such as heavy rains, floods, and drought.

Particularly vulnerable are cold-water species of fish such as salmon and trout, which are expected to disappear from vast areas of the continent when water temperatures exceed their thermal endurance limits. Fish who prefer warmer water will expand their ranges as temperatures rise. Cold-water species will likely expand northwards or ascend to higher mountainous areas where frigid climates currently prevent their presence.

Glacier Melt

The Arctic sea ice sheet plays a vital role in the planet’s climate system. On the one hand, it is an indicator of global climate change, and on the other hand, the processes occurring in the waters of the oceans near the poles affect the ecology of the entire Earth. According to IPCC experts, the global melting of glaciers and the rise in the level of the World Ocean will affect about 1.8 billion people – 20 percent of the world’s projected population – by 2050 (IPCC 5). Global climate change is bringing changes to the established laws of life, threatening the survival of most living beings.

Ocean Acidification

In addition, global climate change is changing the acidity of the World Ocean. In natural ecosystems, most phenomena are causal, so it is difficult to point to a specific factor determining the change in the composition of the Ocean. Forest fires and perhaps human industrial activity can change the balance of the atmosphere by saturating it with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, in turn, binds to atmospheric moisture, becoming a weak chemical compound of carbon dioxide. Acid deposited with the rains in the World Ocean concentrates in the water column, changing the chemical composition of the water, resulting in an increase in the acidity of the environment, known as ocean acidification.

On the one hand, ocean acidification reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It significantly constrains the process of climate change, and on the other hand, ocean acidification has become a significant global factor in the last decade that can harm marine organisms and biogeochemical cycles. When the pH and the corresponding concentration of carbon compounds fall below a certain level, the destruction of calcium carbonate, which is part of the shells and skeletons of many organisms, begins (Bednarek et al. 4). Some corals, bivalves, and calculating phytoplankton may be particularly sensitive to changes in the chemical composition of seawater. Energy costs for resistance to increasing acidity can reduce the amount of energy required for physiological processes such as reproduction and growth.

Water Circulation Disturbances

It is essential to study the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean, which is the primary source of extreme weather events. As the Ocean covers most of the planet, it is the currents and circulation of water that determine the climate of many densely populated regions of the world. Changing the flow of powerful ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream is potentially very dangerous. In the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf Stream, which encircles the west coast of North America, carries warm water to the northern part of the ocean.

Along the way, it meets the North Atlantic Current rushing towards the Northeast Atlantic, while off the coast of Norway, Greenland, and the Labrador Sea near Canada, these waters become cold. The liquid thickens, and salinity levels increase, resulting in water flows settling at depth. This process plays a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s climate.

Disturbances in water circulation during this process are provoked by climate change on the planet. Global warming, as one of the factors of critical climate change, prevents the cooling of water masses, which slows down water circulation. Above all, warmer water precludes the movement of colder, more dense water. As Greenland’s glacier plates and glaciers melt, freshwater flows into the ocean, where foaming usually occurs. Here, the water becomes less dense and less salty, reducing its ability to penetrate the lower layer. Rainfall increases in the northern hemisphere, and water evaporates more entirely in the southern part of the compound.

Chesapeake Bay

It is known that the planet Earth during its existence was repeatedly exposed to meteorite attacks. There is a hypothesis that meteorites could play a fatal role in climate change and the Earth’s natural world. On the one hand, fallen meteorites could contribute to the destruction of most of the living organisms that inhabit the planet, as was probably the case with dinosaurs, and on the other – stimulated the development of this life. If the experience of dinosaurs was indeed interrupted by the fall of a meteorite, the same meteorite was the impetus for the rapid growth of mammals, previously under severe pressure from predatory dinosaurs. In continuation of this hypothesis, if the Chesapeake Bay is a crater from a possible meteorite fall, life in this place is likely very diverse.

Indeed, the world of microorganisms and bacteria in the Chesapeake Bay is incredibly diverse: here, you can find the presence of new, evolved forms, as well as dead organisms under sediments.

Bay as Climate Change Factor

Few would have imagined that natural water communities could contribute to the artificial greenhouse effect. Large estuaries expanding towards the sea, such as the Chesapeake Bay, could have a significant impact on global climate change. It should be noted that eutrophication is a normal, natural process associated with the permanent flushing of biogenic elements from the catchment area into water bodies. However, in recent years, in areas with high population density or intensive agriculture, the intensity of this process has increased many times due to the discharge of municipal wastewater into water bodies, wastewater from livestock farms and food industry enterprises, as well as the flushing of excessively applied fertilizers from fields.

It is assumed that the eutrophication process, which manifests itself as excessive saturation of water bodies with nutrients due to anthropogenic pollution, has a positive effect on the uncontrolled increase in phytoplankton and algae populations. As a result of the life activities of such plant communities, methane-filled voids form in the bay column. Methane is known to be a greenhouse gas, and as a result of wind or storm activity, the accumulated methane is released into the atmosphere.

Blue Crab as Biological Species

The natural form of the blue crab is commercially valuable for humans, as the crab meat is a gourmet delicacy. The original homeland of blue crab is the Atlantic coast of North America, in particular, the crab can be found in the waters of Chesapeake Bay (Hines et al. 110).

Blue crabs settle mainly in the estuaries of rivers and other coastal streams up to 36 m deep and are kept on sandy or muddy ground, but by winter, they go into deeper waters. Adult animals endure a drop in ambient temperature to 10°C, while young crabs feel comfortable within 15°C-30°C (Hines et al. 111). In terms of trophic chains, the crab diet is based on small fish, bivalves, worms, and plants. The blue crab is omnivorous and not too demanding to eat: it can eat scavengers, and when there is not enough food, it turns to cannibalism. Its main natural threats are sea turtles, herons, gulls, and fish from the humpbacked family.

The Impact of Climate Change on the Blue Crab

Ocean Acidification Destroys the Shell

As noted earlier, changing climatic conditions due to natural or anthropogenic influences can lead to the acidification of oceanic waters. Rising levels of acidity in the oceans lead to changes in the chemical composition of water, with adverse effects on chitin-covered marine life (Bednarek et al. 5). Thus, scientists have found that the shells of some species of crabs in low pH conditions are gradually dissolving (Hines et al. 124). Chitin is called a high-molecular carbohydrate, which, together with minerals, proteins, and other organic molecules, forms a stable outer cover and the inner supporting structures of arthropods and is part of the cell wall of fungi and bacteria.

In other words, chitin is a natural substance created to protect living organisms from harmful effects. Under the influence of a highly acidic environment, chitin compounds are dissolved, causing the shells of crabs are damaged (Tomasetti et al. 1). In particular, some individuals of this species have lost the hair-like sensitive structures that they usually use to navigate in their habitat. However, the size of crabs with damaged shells was much smaller than their healthy congeners.

Temperature Increases Affect the Lives of Crabs

Rising temperatures in the waters of the World Ocean, and the Chesapeake Bay, in particular, can hurt the vital functions of hydrations. In recent decades, the average temperature of the water column has tended to increase. Since the speed of many physiological processes in marine organisms is determined by temperature, the first consequence of changes in environmental conditions is a shift in the timing of seasonal phenomena, such as the marriage period of crabs or breeding periods (Hines et al. 120). Thus, a more insignificant increase in temperature conditions of freshwater can cause the migration of crabs (Tomasetti et al. 3).

Due to the appearance of warmer zones, blue crabs are forced to leave their usual habitats, moving to colder subzones. This, in turn, plays a significant role in redistributing ecosystems and internal trophic levels – changing habitats means changing habitual diets. In the future, a diet change may lead to new genetic mutations and eventual species formation.

The impact of temperature is not limited to increased migration among hydrations. Extensive scientific studies are demonstrating the development of painful processes in blue crabs. The authors assume that the increase in temperature has a positive effect on the activity of pathogens, which in turn oppress the health of blue crab. The phenomenon proposed in this article, based on the infection of healthy dinoflagellates crab species Hematodinium perezi – parasitic microorganisms that penetrate the body of the crab, disrupting metabolic processes. The authors conclude that with a rise in temperature to 30 degrees Celsius, the death rate of the population of blue crab on the tenth day of the study increases by 40% (Shields 7). In other words, minor temperature fluctuations have the most substantial impact on the survival of crab.

Grossly Low Dissolved Oxygen Content

In addition to the increased acidity of the Chesapeake Bay oceanic waters and local temperature increases, oxygen content plays a significant role in the survival of the blue crab population. Studies show that an essential factor in the impact of global warming on marine organisms can be a decrease in the dissolved oxygen content in the water (Tomasetti et al. 11). In the past, this factor has not received much attention, as mass species of fish and invertebrates tend to live in waters that are well supplied with oxygen.

Severe oxygen deficiency resulting in mass mortality of hydrations is only possible in certain areas with special hydrochemical conditions, which are very limited, for example, at the bottom of the estuarine regions such as the Chesapeake Bay. Increased algal bloom due to warmer climates, usually starting before the usual bloom time, promotes increased absorption of dissolved oxygen. In warmer climates, the low-oxygen areas expand and remain atypical even for the bottom layer. A small decrease in the oxygen content of seawater affects their bioenergy, resulting in a reduction of their growth and fertility and, consequently, in their commercial stocks.

Suppression of Reproductive Function

The impact of climate change on the population demographics of hydrations and blue crab populations, in particular, is dual. On the one hand, the increase in temperature contributes to the increased growth and bloom of algae and macrophytes, which increases the number of fry and fish, leading to a hidden lifestyle. According to McDermott, changes in climatic conditions in the Chesapeake Bay area may have the opposite effect on the blue crab population.

The author suggests that the local increase in the temperature of the bay waters combined with changes in the chemical composition contributes to a longer growing season. In turn, the abundance of nutritious raw materials for a more extended period than usual stimulates a positive growth in the population of blue crab (McDermott). However, on the other hand, an increase in water temperature, as noted earlier, can hurt the immunity of crabs, contributing to the penetration and development of parasitic forms (Shields 1). In general, it is difficult to determine the direct effect of a single climate change factor on the reproduction of blue crabs because more analysis is required, taking into account all kinds of scenarios.

Conclusion

Despite the cyclical nature of climate change on the planet, the impact of rapid climate change is being discussed with particular urgency. Climate change involves the dynamic transformation of formative climate parameters such as temperature, humidity, pressure, and others. The underlying causes of such natural modifications include both natural and anthropogenic factors. Natural causes of climate change include processes beyond human control, such as solar radiation, volcanism, and the inclination of the planet’s axis. However, in recent decades, the human factor has shown a tendency to expand its influence on nature.

The anthropogenic factor, characterized by intensive industrial growth, consumption, and pollution of air, water, and soil habitats, is expected to contribute significantly to the biosphere change every year. Together, it forms a process of climate change, the consequences of which may hurt the lives of many organisms inhabiting the planet. However, as is usually the case, it cannot be unequivocally stated that climate change will have harmful effects on creatures – some organisms will be able to survive and adapt, while others will be unable to withstand the changes and will become extinct.

This analytical essay has mainly explored the issue of climate change in aquatic ecosystems, particularly the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in the Atlantic Ocean basin. Most likely, the bay was formed as a result of the meteorite bombing of the Earth tens of millions of years ago, and today it is a reservoir filled with a variety of living organisms. The Chesapeake Bay hydrobionts include a commercial species of oceanic crab known as the Blue Crab.

There is extensive scientific evidence showing that climate change is mainly detrimental to the livelihoods of crab species. Increases in temperature are forcing populations to migrate and reducing their immune system, contributing to pathogen infiltration. Ocean acidification caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (including from anthropogenic activities) contributes to the decomposition of the carbohydrate substance that covers the body of the crab.

As a result, the chitin cover is dissolved or not wholly formed, and the crab dies. Also, the increased temperature has a positive effect on the growth of phytoplankton, which eats Blue Crab. As a result, the crab population may grow. At the same time, it may be a short-term effect, as intensive algal growth stimulates the formation of water voids, which accumulate methane released by the storm. Methane can cause a greenhouse effect by increasing the amount of heat trapped on the planet.

In conclusion, it is essential to note that assessing some of the factors of global climate change in the short term does not make much sense, as it is crucial to determine not the impact of a particular element but their possible synergistic effect. Moreover, most natural phenomena are described by causality. For this reason, by somehow influencing one of the environmental factors, humans can bring irreversible changes to the ecosystem caused by the resulting elements. It is only from a retrospective point of view that one can most fully assess the detrimental or positive effects of climate change.

Works Cited

Bednarsek, Nina, et al. “Exoskeleton dissolution with mechanoreceptor damage in larval Dungeness crab related to severity of present-day ocean acidification vertical gradients.” Science of The Total Environment (2020): 136610.

Hines, Anson, et al. “Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Blue Crabs in Chesapeake Bay.” Biology and Management of Exploited Crab Populations Under Climate Change vol. 22, no. 1, 2010, pp. 109-127.

How Will Climate Change Affect the United States in Decades to Come?Eos. 2017. Web.

IPCC. The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. 2019. Web.

McDermott, Amy. “Climate Change May Stimulate the Chesapeake’s Blue Crab Population.EcoWatch. 2018. Web.

“Natural Climate Cycles.” USDA. Web.

Parry, Martin L. Climate change and world agriculture. Routledge, 2019.

Pecl, Gretta T., et al. “Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being.” Science vol. 355, no. 6332, 2017, pp. 1-54.

Seidl, Rupert, et al. “Forest disturbances under climate change.” Nature Climate Change, vol. 7, no. 6, 2017, pp. 395-402.

Shields, Jeffrey D. “Climate change enhances disease processes in crustaceans: case studies in lobsters, crabs, and shrimps.” The Journal of Crustacean Biology, vol. 39, no. 6, 2019, pp. 673-683.

Tomasetti, Stephen J., et al. “Individual and Combined Effects of Low Dissolved Oxygen and Low pH on Survival of Early Stage Larval Blue Crabs, Callinectes Sapidus.” PloS One, vol. 13, no. 12, 2018, pp. 1-16.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 23). Climate Change Factors and Impacts on Blue Crab Populations. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/climate-change-factors-and-impacts-on-blue-crab-populations/

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