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Ecological Shift in the North Sea

By Brandon KeimWired.com
28 October 2009

Fueled by previously unappreciated links between climate and ecology, the North Sea has undergone a radical ecological shift in the last half-century, say scientists.

The very shape of the food web has changed, from plankton on up to the cod and flatfish that once dominated the icy waters, supporting rich commercial fisheries. They’ve been largely replaced by jellyfish and crabs.

_The full scope of the change has gone relatively unnoticed, and could foreshadow changes in waters around the world.

_“Climate-driven changes in the biology of the sea are largely hidden from view,” said Richard Kirby, a marine biologist at the University of Plymouth. “If similar changes occurred in a temperate forest, we would be shocked._”… Read more



Daniel Thistlethwaite local resident. Photographer at Schumacher College September 2007

Dr Stephan Harding, MSc Co-ordinator and Resident Ecologist, Schumacher College: This terrifying news highlights what many of us have know all along – that our maintream economy is putting ecosystems, and indeed the entire Earth, under great strain. Anthopogenic climate change is causing this kind of change all over the planet, and we need to tackle it immediatley. James Lovelock has been saying for many years that we are already in the early stages of apocalyptic climate change, and this study produced by experts just down the road from Schumacher does not contradict his assertion. Studies like this convince me that we are causing the demise of many species around the planet, and that eventually, in the not too distant future, business as usual will bring about the complete collapse of civilization.

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