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Rising temps in Marmara Sea spark environmental concerns

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The Marmara Sea has witnessed a significant increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in water temperature since 1970, a trend attributed to the escalating global warming and climate change, according to insights shared by professor Lokman Hakan Tecer, dean of the Engineering Faculty at Namık Kemal University (NKÜ) Çorlu.

Tecer highlighted a stark rise in long-term average temperatures, from 15.3 degrees Celsius in 1970 to 17.8 degrees Celsius last year, signaling a worrisome surge.

Emphasizing the broader trend in rising water temperatures around Türkiye’s surrounding seas, Tecer noted substantial increases in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Seas over the past five decades. The Marmara Sea, particularly affected, experienced a staggering 0.9-degree increase, while the nearby Black Sea witnessed nearly a 1-degree rise. Similarly, the Aegean Sea rose by 1.4 degrees, and the Mediterranean registered an increase of 1.2 degrees.

Highlighting the profound environmental implications of rising temperatures, Tecer linked this phenomenon to adverse effects in aquatic ecosystems. The surge in temperatures played a role in significant environmental issues, notably contributing to the mucilage problem experienced in the region.

Moreover, he underscored the critical importance of dissolved oxygen in water for marine life. With rising temperatures, the concentration of dissolved oxygen decreases, impacting the living conditions of aquatic organisms. This decrease in oxygen levels poses a threat to marine life and has contributed to the decline in fish species.

Recent reports indicated a notable shift in the fish population within the Marmara Sea, witnessing a decline in certain species while observing an increase in others like jellyfish and stingrays. Tecer attributed the increase in sea temperature not solely to mucilage but also to the broader effects of global temperature rises due to climate change. He noted that while wastewater discharge into the sea, including cooling and heated sources, could have a localized effect, the primary driver of rising temperatures remained climate change and the overarching global warming phenomenon.

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In essence, Tecer stressed that combatting climate change and addressing global warming remains pivotal in mitigating the environmental impacts and safeguarding the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems in the Marmara Sea and beyond.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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