December 10, 2009
Mediterranean Sea Represents Polluted Future Of Oceans?

Does the Med show us the fate of larger bodies of water? Hope not.

Warmed, overfished and polluted, the small Mediterranean Sea is giving scientists a look at what the future may hold for the rest of Earth’s oceans — and it’s not pretty.

Beneath its surface, a transformation is taking place. Food webs are shrinking, with rich ecosystems that supported valuable commercial fisheries giving way to barrens dominated by jellyfish and tiny invertebrates. Mass die-offs and disease are now common.

“The predicted effects of climate change are being met in the Mediterranean. The results are more obvious and dramatic, but the drivers are the same all over the world,” said Pierre Chevaldonné, a University of the Mediterranean biologist.

I expect agricultural run-off to go up with more use of intensive agriculture due to rising food demand driven by population growth and industrialization. Therefore dead zones at the outlets of rivers will likely continue to increase in size.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 December 10 10:11 PM  Pollution Trends

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