Global warming could spur toxic algae, bacteria in seas: scientists
ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP):Global warming could spur the growth of toxic algae and bacteria in the world’s seas and lakes, with an impact that could be felt in 10 years, scientists said Monday.Studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change makeocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, according to a private news channel report.

In one study, scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to
predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,”
which can accumulate in shellfish and cause severe symptoms, including paralysis,
in humans who eat the contaminated seafood.
“Our projections indicate that by the end of the 21st century, blooms may
begin up to two months earlier in the year and persist for one month later
compared to the present-day time period of July to October,” said Stephanie
Moore, one of the scientists who worked on the study.
But the impact could be felt well before the end of this century—as
early as 2040, she said.
“Changes in the harmful algal bloom season appear to be imminent. We expect
a significant increase in Puget Sound and similar at-risk environments within 30
years,” said Moore.
Scientists found that desert dust, which contains iron, deposited into the
ocean from the atmosphere could lead to increases of harmful bacteria in the
seawater.
Researchers found that adding desert dust to seawater significantly
stimulated the growth of Vibrios, a group of ocean bacteria that can cause
gastroenteritis and infectious diseases in humans.
“Within 24 hours of mixing weathered desert dust from Morocco with seawater
samples, we saw a huge growth in Vibrios, including one strain that could cause
eye, ear and open wound infections, and another strain that could cause cholera,”
said Erin Lipp, who worked on the study.
Rising precipitation in some parts of the world and lack of rain in other
parts has been blamed on climate change by some experts.
Global warming has also been blamed for rising ocean temperatures, and “a
warming ocean, which we know is happening, increases the likelihood of disease
that affects both wildlife and humans,” said Janet Lubchenco.
Unhealthy oceans impact not only human and animal health but also affect
countries’ economies, he added.