More than 40% of marine ecosystems are being dramatically altered by a combination of pollution, fishing, and global warming, researchers warn in a new study. In fact, no area of the ocean remains unaffected by human activity, reports National Geographic. The biggest problem is global warming, which not only changes temperature but also makes the waters more acidic, altering a delicate ecosystem, say researchers in the journal Science.
An impact map created by researchers reveals the shallow waters off the coasts of continents are the hardest-hit spots, but even remote places in the Arctic are feeling the effects. Particular problem spots include the North Sea, and Asia's South China Sea and East China Sea. "The ocean is so big, I figured there would be areas people rarely get to," said the lead researcher. "But there are huge areas that are being impacted by multiple human activities. It was a surprise to me."