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Climate change already impacting Irish waters

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Climate change already impacting Irish waters

Under projected greenhouse gas emissions the ocean off southwest Ireland will become warmer and less saline by the year 2035 Research undertaken by the Marine Institute on harmful algae found it is becoming more abundant in Irish waters, and not just in warmer months, potentially harming ocean creatures such as shellfish. Picture: Denis Minihane Climate change has already impacted Irish waters, new research has found, with the ocean off the southwest coast likely to become warmer and less salty by the year 2035, thereby harming everyday sea life.

Research undertaken by the Marine Institute on harmful algae found it is becoming more abundant in Irish waters, and not just in warmer months, potentially harming ocean creatures such as shellfish.

Algae are plant-like living organisms that have the ability to conduct photosynthesis — making food through sunlight; seaweeds such as kelp, pond scum or algal blooms in lakes would be forms that people would be familiar with.

While most microalgae in the sea are beneficial, the Marine Institute said, some species can produce chemicals that can be passed on via filter-feeding shellfish.

This can occasionally make these shellfish unfit for human consumption, it added.These harmful algal blooms can therefore […]

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