The models predict where whales will go at different water temperatures

A large international team of researchers used complex models to see how sperm whales and blue whales would perform under different climate conditions around New Zealand in the year 2100.

What they saw was that both species moved further south. Sea water is warmer, further south. The test was carried out in extremely extreme climatic conditions – in the waters north of New Zealand – where 61 per cent of the animals’ current habitats have been lost. But even under the most favorable conditions, large changes in animal behavior were observed.

Apart from the effects on animals, it also affects the local economy. If all the whales leave the waters around the coast, the many companies that make money from whale-watching cruises can back up.

But animals also have a huge impact on ecosystems. For example, they ensure that nutrients from the deep ocean reach and diffuse to the surface. And that will change if we stop whaling somewhere.

The research also shows the most suitable places to heat seawater. Knowing now which waters are suitable can help protect these areas.

read more: Climate change predicts southward shift of large whale species in New Zealand.

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