• By The Financial District

As Mediterranean Heats Up, Scientists Warn Of Dying Marine Life

From Barcelona to Tel Aviv, scientists say they are witnessing exceptional temperature hikes ranging from 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) to 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) above the norm for this time of year.


Photo Insert: The mortality impacts on species were observed between the surface and 45 meters (around 150 feet) deep, where the recorded marine heat waves were exceptional.



Water temperatures have regularly exceeded 30 C (86 F) on some days. Extreme heat in Europe and other countries around the Mediterranean has grabbed headlines this summer, but the rising sea temperature is largely out of sight and out of mind, Ciaran Giles and Ilan Ben Zion reported for the Associated Press (AP).


The situation is “very worrying,” says Joaquim Garrabou, a researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Barcelona. “We are pushing the system too far. We have to take action on the climate issues as soon as possible.”



Garrabou is part of a team that recently published the report on heat waves in the Mediterranean Sea between 2015 and 2019. The report says these phenomena have led to “massive mortality” of marine species.


About 50 species, including corals, sponges and seaweed, were affected along thousands of kilometers of Mediterranean coasts, according to the study, which was published in the Global Change Biology journal.


Despite representing less than 1% of the global ocean surface area, the Mediterranean is one of the main reservoirs of marine biodiversity, containing between 4% and 18% of the world’s known marine species.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Some of the most affected species are key to maintaining the functioning and diversity of the sea’s habitats. Species like the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, which can absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide and shelters marine life, or coral reefs, which are also home to wildlife, would be at risk.


Garrabou says the mortality impacts on species were observed between the surface and 45 meters (around 150 feet) deep, where the recorded marine heat waves were exceptional.


Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

Heat waves affected more than 90% of the Mediterranean Sea’s surface. According to the most recent scientific papers, the sea surface temperature in the Mediterranean has increased by 0.4 C (0.72 F) each decade between 1982 and 2018. On a yearly basis, it has been rising by some 0.05 C (0.09 F) over the past decade without any sign of letting up.



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