Thursday, November 30, 2006

Climate change already affecting UK's marine life

Climate change already affecting UK's marine life By Steve Connor, Science Editor Published: 29 November 2006
Britain's coasts are already being affected by climate change, according toa panel of experts convened by the Government to assess the likely impact ofglobal warming. These changes are altering the number, variety anddistributions of every kind of marine organism, from plankton and fish to top predators such as seabirds. Sea temperatures have increased, storms and waves are becoming more damagingand sea levels are beginning to rise faster than at any time in the previouscentury, the report says."We are observing large changes in our marine environment that are driven inpart by climate change and that are predicted to continue into the future,"according to the panel's report published today."Mitigating and adapting to these changes will present significantchallenges for decision-makers," says the Marine Climate Change ImpactsPartnership, a coalition of experts from institutions ranging from CambridgeUniversity to the Met Office's Hadley Centre.Sea surface temperatures around Britain's coastline have been rising bybetween 0.2C and 0.6C per decade for the past 30 years and there is everysign that they will continue to rise, especially in the South-east.

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