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Climate Change: Fish Will Move Toward Poles, Affecting Poor Nations More

Feb 27, 2016 07:10 AM EST
Fishermen by island
As fish and other natural resources shift farther from the equator and toward the poles as a result of warming temperatures, a global shift in wealth will occur, says a new study.
(Photo : Pixabay)

As fish go toward the Earth's poles as a result of climate change, fishermen in poorer countries will disproportionately feel the impact -- putting a strain on worldwide wealth resources, says a new study.

The report from researchers at Rutgers, Princeton, Yale and Arizona State University was recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change. It includes findings that warming temperatures will disperse fish away from the equator, bringing about a "mass redistribution of wealth."

The team looked at data on fish migration, employing a mathematical formula to learn how their movement would affect developing nations' economies.

"What we find is that natural resources like fish are being pushed around by climate change, and that changes who gets access to them," Malin Pinsky at Rutgers said in a release.

This will probably affect areas in proportion to how strong their existing natural-resource management is, Pinsky reported in the release.

Also, not only fish will move toward the poles -- plants and trees and some additional species used by human beings -- are shifting out of temperate zones as temperatures rise. These latter are part of what the report calls "inclusive wealth" --education, human health, roads, factories and buildings are also a part of it.

Their report was based partly on Pinsky's data from his studies on fish migration; and Yale's Eli Fenichel's mathematical formula to show interactions between the change in location of resources and wealth movement.

"We tend to think of climate change as just a problem of physics and biology," Pinsky said in a statement. "But people react to climate change as well, and at the moment we don't have a good understanding for the impacts of human behavior on natural resources affected by climate change."

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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