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[greenyes] Climate Disruption - North Sea Effects


Why global warming puts bib on the menu
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
13 May 2005
Nearly two-thirds of fish species in the North Sea have moved further north
in search of colder waters because global warming is driving sea
temperatures higher.
Scientists have compiled the first unequivocal evidence linking a major
northward shift of North Sea fish species with rising ocean temperatures.
The researchers believe the movement is more dramatic than the simple
migration of individual fish and represents a fundamental change in the
distribution of marine species.
A study that covers 25 years of data has found the range of nearly
two-thirds of North Sea species - including commercially important fish such
as cod and haddock - have shifted either further north or to colder depths.
As cold-water fish have gone north, exotic warmer-water species such as the
bib, scaldfish and lesser weever have extended their range by moving into
the North Sea from the south, said Alison Perry, a marine biologist at the
University of East Anglia in Norwich.
If trends continue, then Atlantic cod will no longer be able to live in the
warm waters of the North Sea by 2080 and its habitat will be totally
occupied by the southerly bib, Dr Perry said.
"This is not just a case of individual fish choosing to move into colder
waters. It points towards an entire population of fish becoming less viable
in response to warming," Dr Perry said.
"It's not just about fish migrating, it's about seeing a whole range of
long-term responses to rising sea temperatures over the past 25 years," she
Between 1962 and 2001, the average temperature of the North Sea increased by
0.6C. During that period, the world experienced the warmest years on record,
which many climatologists have linked to man-made pollution.
Peter Anderson, President
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