Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impact of unsettled summer weather on UK marine life

Date:
January 7, 2010
Source:
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
Summary:
A recent scientific conference has provided new evidence for the effects of unseasonal summer storms on a variety of spectacular marine life, including deadly jellyfish, basking sharks and oceanic seabirds.

Wet and windy summers along with Atlantic storms have led to an influx of Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish onto beaches in southwest England.
Credit: Russell Wynn

A recent scientific conference has provided new evidence for the effects of unseasonal summer storms on a variety of spectacular marine life, including deadly jellyfish, basking sharks and oceanic seabirds.

Related Articles


The third annual 'South West Marine Ecosystems' meeting, held in Plymouth in December 2009, brought together 40 representatives from the scientific, conservation, fishing and eco-tourism sectors. The aim was to discuss impacts of environmental change and conservation measures on marine life off southwest England.

A common theme was the influence of a third successive summer dominated by wet and windy weather, with southwest England particularly affected by a series of Atlantic storms. This led to an unprecedented mid-summer influx of the deadly Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish onto Cornish beaches, leading to temporary closure of some popular tourist hotspots such as Sennen Cove.

The stormy conditions also blew in record numbers of the Wilson's storm petrel, a tiny oceanic seabird that breeds in the southern Atlantic Ocean and is traditionally a very rare visitor to UK coasts. Several sightings of the spectacular black-browed albatross were also made during the summer and autumn, including the first in Cornwall for over 20 years.

Meeting organiser, Dr Russell Wynn of National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) said: "The effect of these mid-summer storms on our marine life has been dramatic. If recent summers are an indication of future trends, then we might expect to see more exotic visitors around our coasts in the years to come."

However, the unsettled weather was bad news for basking sharks, which were only seen in very low numbers off southwest UK through the summer and autumn. During stormy conditions, their plankton prey is widely scattered, and it is believed that the sharks move further north and west in search of more productive waters at these times. In addition, the RSPB reported that the wet, cold conditions could be contributing to low productivity of breeding seabirds such as kittiwakes.

Helen Booker of RSPB said "Mid-summer storms are a particular problem for our breeding kittiwakes, which nest on exposed cliffs and headlands. The adult birds have difficulty finding food in very rough seas, while the chicks are vulnerable to chilling in persistently cold, damp conditions."

Conservation topics discussed at the meeting included a study on threatened seahorses in Studland Bay, Dorset, the establishment of a network of Marine Conservation Zones around our coasts, and ongoing efforts to reduce dolphin strandings and bycatch in southwest England.

South West Marine Ecosystems is an annual meeting that has run since 2007, and is organised by NOCS and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "Impact of unsettled summer weather on UK marine life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100019.htm>.
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). (2010, January 7). Impact of unsettled summer weather on UK marine life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100019.htm
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "Impact of unsettled summer weather on UK marine life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100019.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins