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Posted Tue Jun 29 2010: from Independent (Ireland):
Our warmer waters attract new species
Ireland's coastal waters are getting warmer and waves are getting higher because of climate change. Swarms of jellyfish are now being enticed to the warmer water, a new climate change report published today reveals. The report, 'Irish Ocean Climate and Ecosystem Status Report 2009', details a number of significant changes recorded in recent years including increases in sea surface temperature. Higher temperatures have led to an increase in the number of warm water species in Irish waters, ranging from microscopic plankton to swarms of jellyfish. A key finding of the report, published by the Marine Institute, is that increases of sea surface temperature of 0.6C per decade have been taking place since 1994 -- a change unprecedented in the past 150 years. This, in turn, is linked to an increase in microscopic plants and animals, along with species of jellyfish. Further up the food chain, greater numbers of warm-water fish species have been observed in Irish waters, along with sightings of exotic species such as snake pipefish. Declines in the number of seabirds have also been observed, which may be linked to climate change, says the report.
[Read more stories about: rising sea level, ocean warming]

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