Greenpeace reports says marine life such as th purple seafan are suffering due to temperature rise

Greenpeace report says Italy’s seas are feeling the heat

Environment News

The Mare Caldo (Hot Sea) report by Greenpeace says temperature rises are having a drastic effect on biodiversity. Species suited to the special nature of Italy’s seas are disappearing.

Italy’s seas are feeling the effects of the climate crisis in a big way, with rising water temperatures causing drastic changes to marine biodiversity, according to a new report by Greenpeace.

The second edition of the Mare Caldo (Hot Sea) report, prepared with the University of Genoa’s DiSTAV Earth, Environment and Life Sciences Department, said species that are sensitive to the special nature of Italy’s seas are disappearing. Meanwhile species better suited to warmer waters, often alien ones, are proliferating.

The Mare Caldo project saw over 530,000 temperatures taken at different depths and in different parts of Italy’s protected marine areas.

Mediterranean species show signs of necrosis

Among other things, the research detected an abnormal sea water “heat wave” in June 2020 off the island of Elba and in the protected marine area of Portofino. Temperatures climbed by 1.5 degrees centigrade from their monthly average within days and stayed at that level for a period of three weeks.

Gorgonia sea fans, coralline algae and sponges are among the Mediterranean species showing evident signs of necrosis due to the increases in temperature, the report said.

On the other hand, the presence of bearded fireworm has increased considerably in Italy’s southern protected marine areas. Some alien species are invading, such as the Lamprohaminoea ovalis, a gastropod mollusc of Polynesian origin observed off Elba for the first time.

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Mare Caldo Project

“The Mare Caldo project is showing how our seas are also suffering from the impact of climate change,” said Alessandro Giannì, Greenpeace Italia’s campaigns director.

“In order to address this crisis, it is now more necessary than ever to, on the one hand, free ourselves of our reliance on fossil fuels and, on the other, to protect the more sensitive marine ecosystems.

 “It has been seen that, where we protect biodiversity from the impact of destructive human activity, organisms are capable of recovering and adapting to a change which, unfortunately, is already taking place.”

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