While climate change has been shown capable of causing species to become extinct, it can also have benefits for select species as well. A number of species which are likely to benefit, at least in the short-term, due to climate change reside in the world’s oceans. Researchers studying dolphins in England have found that one particular dolphin is increasing in number due to the changing seas.
The study was performed by the North East Cetacean Project in North East England. The researchers found a growing number of the Risso’s dolphin species. This species prefers warm waters, leading them to believe that have been drawn north by the increasingly warm waters in northern climates.
Unfortunately, the dolphins which are common to the area, the harbor porpoise and the white-beaked dolphin, are dwindling in number in the area. These particular species favor cooler water temperatures and are likely flocking further north towards the Arctic.
Doctor Tom Brereton worked with the resulting data and indicated that the white-beaked dolphins are one of the species which will not benefit from a warming world. Brereton stated: “This is a potential cause of concern because studies in other regions have shown that the arrival of common dolphins coincides with a corresponding disappearance of white-beaked dolphins.“ He continued:: “White-beaked dolphins have a much narrower habitat requirement.”
Many researchers across the globe have been finding that whales seem to be changing their habitats to cope with the warming seas. Dr. Brereton stated: “This research adds to the growing body of evidence that some species of whales and dolphins are showing shifts in distribution, possibly as a result of increasing sea temperatures.”