Climate Change report sets out impact on British seas

The UK’s seas are experiencing warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changes in fish stocks and declines in breeding seabirds as a result of climate change, a report showed today.

According to the annual report for the Government by almost 100 scientists from 40 leading UK organisations, some fish moved northwards by between 50km to 400km (30-250 miles) over the past 30 years, with coldwater species such as monkfish moving furthest.

Plankton, which underpin the marine food chain, are also shifting, according to the review of what is happening to our seas and potential future impacts of climate change.

The study said global warming contributed to a 9% decline in the number of seabirds breeding in the UK between 2000 and 2008 and a drop in breeding success.

UK sea levels rose in line with global rises of an average 1.8mm a year since 1955.

The rate of increase escalated in recent years, with sea levels rising by 3mm a year on average since 1992, the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership said.

The oceans are becoming more acidic, at a rate faster than anything experienced in the past 55 million years, with concerns for ecosystems and species that could be affected by the changes.

Telegraph, 15 July 2010. Full article.

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