Published on December 31, 2013 at 2:00 AM
Lead author Dr Daniel Jones says: "There has been some speculation about climate change impacts on the seafloor, but we wanted to try and make numerical projections for these changes and estimate specifically where they would occur.
"We were expecting some negative changes around the world, but the extent of changes, particularly in the North Atlantic, were staggering. Globally we are talking about losses of marine life weighing more than every person on the planet put together."
The projected changes in marine life are not consistent across the world, but most areas will experience negative change. Over 80 per cent of all identified key habitats - such as cold-water coral reefs, seamounts and canyons - will suffer losses in total biomass. The analysis also predicts that animals will get smaller. Smaller animals tend to use energy less efficiently, thereby impacting seabed fisheries and exacerbating the effects of the overall declines in available food.
Source: National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)