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Sharks able to cope with climate change

Last Updated: Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 13:21

Washington: Amid fears that climate change may further contribute to already declining population of sharks, a study has found that sharks in the Arctic may be able to cope with the change.

The researchers studied the fossil of the sand tiger sharks` teeth found on Banks Island of the Canadian Arctic archipelago.

The teeth date back to the Eocene epoch 38 to 53 million years ago, when the region had a temperate climate and its water had a lower salinity.
"That period is a "deep-time analogue for what is going to happen if we do not curb CO2 emissions today, and potentially what a runaway greenhouse effect looks like," marine scientist Sora Kim of University of Chicago was quoted as saying.

For the study, researchers analysed the ratio of oxygen isotopes in the teeth - a measure that tends to reflect ocean temperature and salinity and found that the numbers indicated the water had such low salinity that it practically looked like freshwater.
However, the sand tiger sharks, which prefer high salinity, had managed to live in the region.

Sharks may be able to cope with rising temperatures and decreasing salinity, the researchers concluded.

Their findings assume significance as a 2013 study showed that warming elsewhere in the oceans is pushing sharks and other marine species increasingly northward, Discovery News reported.

The study appeared in the journal Geology.

First Published: Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 13:21

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