Coastal areas and the marine ecosystem have already been placed under a wide range of direct *anthropogenic pressures, but there are indirect pressures stemming from human activity that are having a more serious effect on the global climate. Global warming now known as climate change is a key topic of discussion around the world, with most people having at least a general understanding of what is occurring today. What is not as generally realised is that climate change, although it does occur naturally, has been aggravated and expedited by the influence of humans. Increased CO2 emissions in the last 100 years are having profound effects on atmospheric and sea surface temperature, and sea levels around the world. These changes are having further knock on effects on weather patterns and ocean currents, which further increase levels of coastal erosion and ocean acidification. Another major issue arising from changing climates is the number of non-native or invasive species being discovered outside of their usual habitats, which can pose major threats to native flora and fauna. Although the concept of climate change in coastal environments seems relatively simple, it is far more complex when looked at from a wider perspective. Join Deep Maps for this month’s blogs series as we address the complexity of climate change and take a closer look at some of the issues impacting on marine coastal environments today including:
- Japanese wireweed (Sargassum muticum),
- Freshwater zebra mussel (Dreisenna polymorpha)
- Escapee Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) imported for aquaculture
The information contained in this blog series was researched and compiled by Seán MacGabhann as part of a broader literature review looking at West Cork’s coastline, and has been edited and contributed to by Orla-Peach Power unless otherwise stated.