Press Release – HIMB Study Explores Fish Resilience in Earth’s Hottest Waters

HIMB Doctoral Student, Jacob Snyder, Journeys to the 2024 AMS Summer Policy Colloquium in Washington, D.C.
June 24, 2024
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Press Release – HIMB Study Explores Fish Resilience in Earth’s Hottest Waters

Arabian monocle bream (Scolopsis ghanam, image left) and blackspot snapper (Lutjanus ehrenbergii, image right) are two species of reef fish surviving in elevated Arabian Gulf temperatures, where water temperatures can reach worst-case ocean warming projections. Photo by Rebekka Pentti.

Please see the full press release issue here!

HIMB Study Suggests Some Fishes are more Resilient to Climate Change than Previously Thought, but Survival is Limited to Smaller Individuals

Abu Dhabi, UAE, July 1 2024— A team of researchers have uncovered surprising survival tactics by coral reef fish who inhabit the Arabian Gulf, the warmest waters on Earth.


Led by Jacob Johansen, Associate Research Professor at Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and John Burt, Co-Principal Investigator at The Mubadala Arabian Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences (ACCESS) at NYU Abu Dhabi, the team discovered adaptations in metabolism and swimming abilities that help fish survive the extreme heat of the Arabian Gulf. Surprisingly, these fish did not follow leading theoretical predictions where the maximum size of fishes is expected to reduce due to limitations in metabolic oxygen-supply. Instead, these fish demonstrated an unexpected capacity to maintain sufficient oxygen to fuel performance, even at elevated temperatures.

Please see the full press release issue here!