Kochi: The phenomenon of climate change is slowly and gradually unleashing its fury upon the globe. Falling victim to the effects of global warming are the world's oceans, which are home to creatures who's existence is equally important for human sustenance.
The aquatic life is already suffering the impact, however, as per a latest study, the warming of ocean waters due to constant change in weather patterns has threatened the food security of India and several other major key food producing countries.
Touted to be 'the greatest hidden challenge for the present generation', the changes in ocean-focused atmospheric patterns have direct implications on food production as the yield is impacted.
"The consequences for society of changing weather patterns due to the warming of the oceans are considerable," said the report titled "Explaining ocean warming: causes, scale, effects and consequences".
The report released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said they involve a mix of food and water factors, and the evolution of various types of risk.
Noting that there have already been changes to precipitation patterns in a number of areas of the planet resulting from large-scale atmospheric teleconnections with ocean warming, the report said there can be increased rainfall in some mid-latitude and monsoon areas and decrease over various sub-tropical regions.
"Both will have impacts on the yields of crops over a range of important food producing areas such as Australia, North America and India," it said.
The report said there were good correlations between wheat and maize yields with the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), so changes in these ocean-focused atmospheric patterns have direct implications on food production.NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), so changes in these ocean-focused atmospheric patterns have direct implications on food production.
Similarly, increasing temperatures tend to reduce maize yields, if all other factors are held constant, it said.
"At sea, warming temperatures will cause changes to the abundance and range of marine species used for food, leading to implications for both the billion people who depend on fish for their principal source of protein and the fishing and aquaculture industries linked to this harvesting."
It also warned that the changes in the ocean are happening between 1.5 and 5 times faster than those on land.
"Developing changes in air-sea interactions are being seen around the planet, in many cases leading to enhancement or shifting of extreme weather.
The report also describes the inadequacy of current knowledge, capabilities and capacity to adequately study ocean warming, and to advise and cope with the associated challenges.
(With PTI inputs)