How climate change will affect the impact of Harmful Algal Blooms | POGO

How climate change will affect the impact of Harmful Algal Blooms

New research involving PML scientists suggests that of two Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) types studied, one is expected to expand in North East Asia, and both are predicted to expand in the North West European/Baltic Sea region.

The recently published study in Global Change Biology sets out to fully understand how climate change could affect the influence of these blooms, through a global modelling approach. Studying 3 regions of the globe, the scientists assessed how distribution of HABs could change under a future climate change scenario, and the impacts these changes could have on a wider scale.

 

A Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) is a population of algae that cause negative impacts to other organisms via production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to other organisms, or by other means. They can kill fish, contaminate seafood or alter ecosystem function, and so are of great concern to fisheries, aquaculture facilities and the tourism industry.

The projections in the study imply that, particularly in Northern Europe, expansion of HABs could affect the vulnerability of coastal systems, resulting in negative impacts for humans and society. These impacts include increased risks to human health due to toxins in the human food chain.

 

You can read the full study ‘Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to changes in harmful algal bloom distribution in response to climate change: projections based on model analysis’ here.

 

This article was provided by PML.

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