Climate Change Could Lead to a Dramatic Temperature-Linked Decrease in Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, According to New Study

The effects of global climate change already are resulting in the loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, and longer and more intense heat waves, among other threats. Now, the first-ever survey of planktonic lipids in the global ocean predicts a temperature-linked decrease in the production of essential omega-3 fatty acids, an important subset of lipid molecules.

A Rapidly Changing Arctic

A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their international colleagues found that freshwater runoff from rivers and continental shelf sediments are bringing significant quantities of carbon and trace elements into parts of the Arctic Ocean via the Transpolar Drift—a major surface current that moves water from Siberia across the North Pole to the North Atlantic Ocean.