The University of Liverpool has started Europe's largest climate change experiment ever to determine the impact of global warming on freshwater systems.
Heidrun Feuchtmayr and a team from the university's School of Biological Sciences will conduct a 2-year project in collaboration with scientists from Belgium, Germany, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. They will assess whether a predicted rise in climate temperature for the United Kingdom and parts of Europe will increase the growth of blue-green algae, many species of which are toxic and can affect fish, snails and other lake dwellers.
In addition, pets or livestock drinking such toxic lake water can suffer skin irritation and severe disorders involving their circulatory, nervous and digestive systems. Humans are also affected by blue-green algae, which can induce sickness such as vomiting, abdominal pain and sore throats.
Climate temperatures are predicted to rise by as much as 5 degrees Celsius across the United Kingdom and parts of Europe during the next 50 years.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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