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Heat waves under water can cause a flourishing of carnivorous bacteria

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Middagsbukta at Brønnøya outside Asker is one of the areas where carnivorous bacteria have flared up in the past. Now scientists are warning that the bacteria level may be higher because the temperature in the water is rising. Photo: Fredrik Hagen / NTB

Of NTB | 25.05.2024 11:03:04

Accidents and natural disasters: Usually the temperature is below 10 degrees at sea level, but in May this year it was higher, according to Television 2.

Climate scientists at the Bjerknes Center in Bergen warn of several consequences of a marine heat wave.

– It has previously been seen that vibrio bacteria, which are found naturally in the sea, have increased in size at higher temperatures. These are carnivorous and in the worst case can lead to amputations if they infect open wounds, says climate researcher Helene Langehaug.

The Bjerknes center is working on creating a system that can warn of heat waves. It is important information for the fishing industry and mussel farmers.

– Temperatures in the sea can affect the movement of fish and the collapse of kelp forests. We have seen examples of this in other marine heat waves, says Langehaug.

Marine heat waves have become more common and more intense in recent years, according to the researchers. The criterion for calling it a heat wave is that the temperature is higher than 90 percent of the average for the last 30 years. The period must also last more than five days. The heat waves can last from a few days to several months.

(© NTB)

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