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Will Global Warming Make Fish Stupid?
Will Global Warming Make Fish Stupid? (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 298)
Oct 24, 2016 Science & Technology

Most people now know that the rising temperatures of the world's oceans is harmful to fish. The acidity level of ocean water goes up when it takes in human-produced carbon dioxide. When this happens, some kinds of fish start to become nervous and go into hiding. Other fish seem not to be able to recognize each other.

Now, new evidence from marine scientists from the University of Exeter, show even more dangerous behavior changes. It seems that spiny damselfish living in water with high CO2 levels, cannot recognize danger. When other damselfish signal danger, they don't seem to notice, which means that they may be dangerously exposed when a predator comes by to eat them.

In fact, their research into rising CO2 has shown it can "mess up" many fishes senses including their smell, hearing and sight. Their senses can be so disturbed that they sometimes even swim towards predators, instead of away from them, according to the scientists. These strange behaviours are likely caused by the way that CO2 changes the way fish brains process signals from their sensory organs - in other words their senses of smell, sight and sound.

This is all bad news for fish, because it is likely that CO2 levels in the oceans will be 2.5 times higher by the end of this century.

The scientists were able to study the effects of rising CO2 by looking at fish farms, where CO2 levels can be up to ten times higher than in the open ocean. The effects may not matter so much to farmed fish. After all they are given plenty of food and they are protected from predators. But their findings are certainly another wake-up call of the dangers of global warming to the natural environments that support all life.

What new danger have the Exeter scientists discovered about CO2 and fish behaviour?
Fish become much more nervous and hide
Fish are unable to recognize each other
Fish seem to be unable to recognize danger
Fish sensory organs do not work as usual
What is the likely increase in CO2 levels this century?
2.5 times
10 times
Why is rising CO2 not such a big deal for farmed fish?
They are protected from predators
They always have plenty of food
They do not live in the open ocean
All of the above answers are true
As used in the article, what is the meaning of "wake-up call"?
An alarm designed to wake you up in the morning
A phone call in a hotel to wake a guest up
A phone call to remind you of an appointment
Something important needing immediate attention
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as said by



in addition to



equipped with or carrying a weapon or weapons



a chemical element that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and that also occurs in charcoal



something likely to cause harm or injury



likely to cause harm or injury, not safe



place where something lives



facts that show something is true



easily seen, uncovered



causing or likely to cause harm



containing, having as part of the whole



to do with the sea



from nature, not manmade



easily alarmed, anxious



become aware of



a binary compound of oxygen with another element or group



an animal that eats others



animals that eat others



carrying out a series of steps




keep safe from harm



keep safe from harm



know something having seen it before



looking for knowledge



experts in science, people who study science



of or relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses



send information



sends information



not usual, hard to understand



help, especially money



how hot something is



the amount of heat in something



the wave behind a boat caused by the boat moving through the water