A new report into Ireland’s coastal and maritime habitats, 'Irish Ocean Climate and Ecosystem Status Report 2009', has found that irish waters are attracting more jellyfish than ever before.
Among the many changes documented by the report is also an increase in the average sea temperature. The changes are thought to be happening because of the influence of global warming.
The sea is getting warmer by an average of 0.6C per year, and the change has been ongoing since 1994, an almost unprecedented rate of increase.
There’s also been a noted increase in the numbers, size, and variety of fish around the Irish coast, including jellyfish, a conclusion sure to cause worry to surfers and water users, both of whom say they have noted an increase in the amount and size of jellyfish around the Irish coast in recent years.
The report also noticed that there had been a decline seabirds, along with a slight increase in the number of reported sightings of rare and exotic species.
The report also says that there’s an increased risk in coming years for coastal erosion and flooding around Ireland. The report says that the combination of increased wave heights along with a rise in the average sea level could combine to put low-lying coastal areas at risk of increased flooding and erosion.
A second report highlights the growing threat to marine life and fragile ecosystems around the coast as a direct consequence of increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
The report recommends the establishment of a national marine climate change and ecosystem monitoring program although there have been no indications so far that such a body will be established in the near future.