Estuaries warming faster than oceans

Estuaries are fast warming than oceans and atmosphere, according to a new study from Australia. The study was held in the estuaries on the South East coast of Australia.

The study says that the estuaries warmed twice as that of the atmosphere and the oceans. They also point out that this could adversely affect the ecological biodiversity of rivers and lakes.

The researchers point out that the variation in temperature, salinity and acidity in estuaries will reduce the global profitability of aquaculture and wild fisheries. It is estimated that about 60 million people depend on inland fishing the world over.

Professor Pauline Ross, who led the research, said that estuaries are to be protected for their ecological and economic value. He also pointed out that the changes in estuaries would reflect on the coastal vegetation like mangroves and saltmars.  These coastal vegetation are in a way responsible for arresting damages due to rise in sea level and erosion.

Dr Elliot Scanes (University of Sydney) who was part of the study said that the study was a pointer to the existence of marine and bird life. It is a great concern as millions of people depend on lakes and rivers for their livelihood.

The researchers have come up with results after 12 years of recording temperatures in the estuaries. They have recorded the temperature in 166 estuaries in the south-eastern Australia. The study showed that estuary experienced a 2.16-degree increase in the temperature, which was about 0.2 degrees each year.

Other studies have also come across temperature increase of estuaries along Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, North Sea, Germany and Hudson River in New York.

The researchers also highlighted the need to protect the estuaries so as to protect the environment and the biodiversity.



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