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Study: Fish sizes to shrink dramatically as climate and oceans warm

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Warmer ocean temperatures and an ever-escalating global climate will cause fish to shrink dramatically over the next 40 years, according to research published Sunday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

Using “high emissions” scenarios developed by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists with the University of British Columbia created a model to predict how oxygen levels and water temperature affects the growth of more than 600 species of fish.

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What they found was shocking: “Marine fish are generally known to respond to climate change through changing distribution and seasonality,” William Cheung, the study’s lead author, said in prepared text. “But the unexpectedly big effect that climate change could have on body size suggests that we may be missing a big piece of the puzzle of understanding climate change effects in the ocean.”

Because fish tend to have a higher metabolism in warmer water, and because warmer water offers fish less oxygen, the research predicts fish will not only move to cooler areas but their actual development into adulthood would be affected because their bodies cannot fully mature.

“We show that assemblage-averaged maximum body weight is expected to shrink by 14–24% globally from 2000 to 2050 under a high-emission scenario,” researchers explained. “About half of this shrinkage is due to change in distribution and abundance, the remainder to changes in physiology.”

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in 2010 that about 53 percent of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited, while about 32 percent are already overexploited and in decline. That’s thanks to human populations over-fishing at a rate nearly three times what the ocean can replenish, which supplies at least 15 percent of the annual protein intake for more than 3 billion people.

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“A warmer and less-oxygenated ocean, as predicted under climate change, would make it more difficult for bigger fish to get enough oxygen, which means they will stop growing sooner,” study co-author Daniel Pauly added.

Without drastic action to curb emissions that cause climate change, not only will fish size be disrupted, but changes to the ocean ecosystems may also disrupt the human food chain and cause mass migrations away from coastal areas as people search for food and jobs elsewhere.

The U.N. Security Council warned in 2011 that climate-driven resource scarcity may soon become a primary source of human conflicts, but an effective international response could prevent worst-case scenarios.
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Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.

"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.

I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"

The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.

"Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference, it's a one man show," he explained. "If you liked 'Fleabag,' you'll love Donald Trump in 'Douchebag,'" he said.

[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]

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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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