Europe’s oceans changing at unprecedented rate

Europe’s seas are changing at an unprecedented rate as ice sheets melt, temperatures rise and marine life migrates due to climate change, a report by the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystem Research project has warned. Over the past 25 years, sea-water temperatures have increased as Arctic sea ice has melted. The combination of rising sea levels and increased winds has contributed to the erosion of 15% of European coasts, the report said. Warming has speeded up in the past 25 years at around 10 times faster than the average rate of increase in the 20th Century, it added. From 1986 to 2006, sea surface temperature rises for European waters were three to six times higher than the global average. By the end of the 21st Century, the temperature of the Baltic Sea may have increased by 2 to 4 degrees centigrade, the North Sea by 1.7 degrees, and the Bay of Biscay by 1.5 to 5 degrees the report said.

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