Climate Change Causes Mercury Threat To Ocean, And Disruption In The Food Chain

Admin | Published 2017-01-30 01:29
Despite of a few prominent people denying the existence of climate change, clear signs of this ongoing catastrophe cannot be unseen. Such as, the warming of the ocean and its increasing levels of mercury, which experts continuously claim. According to Swedish researchers, the ongoing rise of temperature of the ocean may boost mercury levels in fish by up to seven times the current rates. Experts have recently discovered the possible root of the increasing levels of toxin in sea creatures.

(c) Scuba Diver Life

In the study published in the journal, Science Advances, experts claim that extra rainfall multiplies the amount of organic material flowing into the seas. This may add another layer of complex organisms which boosts the concentrations of mercury, thus altering the food chain. For the study, the researchers imitated the conditions found in the Bothnian sea estuary. Their observations show that the rise of temperature causes an abundance of organic matter in oceans and lakes. This may lead to the growth of bacteria in the form of phytoplanktons. "When bacteria become abundant in the water, there is also a growth of a new type of predators that feed on bacteria," lead author Dr Erik Bjorn from Umea University in Sweden told BBC News. "You basically get one extra step in the food chain and methylmercury is enriched by about a factor of ten in each such step in the food web." These changes may lead to significant increases in methylmercury levels in fish living in the lakes and coastal waters of the northern hemisphere. On the other hand, the Mediterranean, the central US and Southern Africa will probably see reductions. "If we reduce mercury emissions, then we need to know how fast will ecosystems recover," said Dr Bjorn in a statement. "If we don't do anything and mercury doesn't decrease, and we add this on top, then the implications would be severe."
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