January 17, 2008

Britain’s Shoreline May be in Danger

The changing climate is threatening the coast of Britain. Seven of the ten warmest years ever recorded for Britain's waters have been in the last decade, the governments "Marine Climate Change Impacts" report shows.

This climate change is wreaking havoc on the marine wildlife off the coast of Britain, destroying the coastline, heating the water, and increasing the chances of flooding and major storms, the government reports.

The warmth of the water is killing both micro-organisms and cold-water fish. These micro-organisms are the foundation of the ecosystem, and there are at least 70% less of the previously dominant plankton species since the 1960s. The fish are declining as well, which reduces the amount of food available for the seabirds. This decline in sea-life greatly affects the fishing industry.

Not only has sea life declined, but the ocean's acidity has increased, as has the average wave height in British water. The chemical composition of the sea water has changed because of increasing amounts of carbon dioxide.

This violence and acidity has only assisted in eroding the coastline. As the levels of the waves continue to rise, the rate of erosion will most likely increase as well.

Both rivers and the sea are more likely to flood because of the higher water levels. These levels are quite possibly a result of the rise in average sea level.

All of this has been linked to global warming.

Richard Lochhead, rural affairs secretary, believes the rise of sea levels and the decline of a coastline because of warmer weather should call people to action in the fight against global warming.