(CNN)Climate change creates many "losers" on this planet, but there could be a few "winners" in the animal kingdom, too, according to a new study in Thursday's Frontiers in Marine Science.
The climate change winners and losers in Antarctica's animal kingdom
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The polar oceans are currently "amongst the most rapidly changing environments on Earth," because of the ongoing and future threat of climate change. That's bad news for many of the animals that live there and have evolved specifically to live in conditions that have been relatively constant for 4 million years. In that time period, glaciers have brought the most stress and change to habitat there; now, the biggest change agent is climate change.
Greenhouse gas emissions, ozone-depleting chemicals, the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the increase in wind and the warmer temperatures have all significantly altered the Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean. There's been a rapid decline of sea ice and ice shelves are collapsing. The glaciers are retreating. The sea is rising and warming, and is experiencing acidification.
Krill, some clams, and humpback whales will be some of the biggest losers in the Antarctic region, the study said. The emperor penguin, the Adelie penguin and the Chinstrap penguin face bleak futures, too.
But starfish, sea squirt and a variety of worms will benefit from climate change, according to the new study. The southern right whale and king penguins that feed on fish will likely gain the most from the decline in sea ice and will have more room to breed as the glaciers retreat.