Climate change is having a big
impact on British shorelines
has forced seashore creatures around Britain to relocate,
with warming seas pushing many species of barnacles,
snails and limpets north in search of cooler areas of
coast, according to a new study.
is having a big impact on British shorelines," said
Nova Mieszkowska of the Marine Biology Association,
who led the four year MarClim project to track the distribution
of 57 species at more than 400 sites around the U.K.
comparing their new data with 1950s records from the
same areas, researchers found that some marine species
adapted to cold-water were migrating away form warming
seas, and were movement faster than their terrestrial
toothed and flat top shells, acorn barnacles, china
limpets and small periwinkles. Some cold-water species,
such as the tortoiseshell limpet, have almost disappeared
form Britain's shores.
Increased global temperatures have also confused
birds this winter
|• Sea surface
temperatures will continue to rise as climate change
global temperatures have also confused birds this winter.
Robins, thrushes and ducks that would normally fly south
from Scandinavia have only been turning up in Britain
in December-long after snow usually drives them south.
ornithologist, Berwick's swans, which usually arrive
in Britain in October from Siberia, seemed to have stopped
for longer than usual in countries such as Estonia or
the Netherlands because of plentiful food there.
temperature of the Earth increased by 0.7C in the 20th
century. Globally, nine out of the 10 warmest years
on record were between 1990 and 2000, and 2006 looks
likely to be the warmest in Britain since records began.
temperatures around Britain have increased in line with
global warming, in some places by more than the global
average: the western English Channel has seen a 1C rise
since 1990, bigger than any changes since records began.
have been similar changes in the eastern channel. "Global
predictions are that species ranges will move pole-wards
as the climate warms, regardless of them being terrestrial
or marine, "said Dr.Mieszkowska.
modeling done by the U.K. climate impacts programme
at Oxford University, sea surface temperatures will
continue to rise as climate change takes hold. Around
some parts of Britain, the temperatures are predicted
to rise by up to 3C over the next century. Some species
are thriving in the warmer seas.
water species are able to extend their ranges now into
areas where the climate was too cold in the past, whereas
a lot of our native species that have cold water species
distribution are struggling as waters are warming up."
a type of warm water snail, have extended their ranges
in Britain by up to 85 Km since the end of the 1980s.
"We have data
from the 1970s and 80s and, for a 10 year period, the
range didn't move at all. Then, suddenly, in 16 years
they've really extended their range."
The warmer seas
have also brought invasive species with them. A type
of Japanese seaweed called Sargassum muticum was brought
to Britain in the 1940s in the ballast water of ships,
and in the last 20 years it has expanded its range rapidly.
is going to be changed, possibly irreversible, within
a reasonably short time because it's only going to get
warmer and warmer quicker and quicker according to the
scenarios," said Dr.Mieszkowska.
researchers will continue their new work in a project
called Indirock. This will monitor entire ecosystems
on the shoreline rather than individual species.
said, that changes to shoreline species act as a warning
for the effects of climate change on biodiversity.
"A lot of them
are food for the fish. If something happens to them
first, you can guarantee there will probably be a severe
knock-on effect higher up the food chain.