Global warming impacting European seas

March 14, 2007

European scientists say global warming is having a significant impact on European marine and coastal environments.

Recent research has shown the Northern Hemisphere has been warmer since 1980 than at any other time during the last 2,000 years, with the increase in temperature generally higher in northern waters than in southern European seas.

The latest European Science Foundation-Marine Board study report shows even moderate climate scenarios have caused marked consequences on the European marine environment.

The study detailed the impact of climate change in the Arctic, the Northeast Atlantic, along the Celtic-Biscay Shelf, the Iberia upwelling margin, and in the Barents, Nordic, Baltic, North, Mediterranean and Black seas.

In just the northern Arctic and Barents Seas, scientists said the decline in sea ice cover has triggered the most obvious temperature-related changes for marine life. Atlantic species are beginning to inhabit the more northern seas and subtropical species are moving into southern waters.

The study was detailed Monday in Bruges, Belgium, during the annual Young Marine Scientist's Day, organized by the Flanders Marine Institute.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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