by Taetske | 5:58 pm
(Last Updated On: February 2, 2019)

Climate Change is already visible in the Alboran Sea

 

The Alboran Sea forms part of the Mediterranean sea and is situated in front of the coast of the south of Spain. Some years ago there was a small earthquake with noticeable effects inland where I live. One afternoon I was watching Spanish news at 15.00 and just when the presenter was talking about the earthquake my chair started shaking. Not much and there was no damage but still, it was a bit frightening.

There is an unusual interacting of sea waters. The surface currents influenced by the winds will bring Atlantic water into the Mediterranean through the Gibraltar Straits. Then there exists a deep surface current which moves westward bringing saltier water to the Atlantic. This is called a gyre, a vertical rotary circulation in the Alboran Sea.

 

Gibraltar Strait

Gibraltar Strait

The change in Seasons

I have been living on my farm in the south of Spain since 1981 and over the years I have observed that seasons have gone missing. Summers can be quite warm and then follows a mild winter.

Springtime is rather short and autumn hardly exists, where have the seasons gone? One really notices this as certain clothes remain hanging in your wardrobe as there is never this in-between weather where one needs to put it on.

 

Data on Climate Change

Recently there was the 24th edition of the Week of the Sea in Malaga. Scientists from different entities like the UICN, the Oceanography Centre, Malaga City Hall, Aula del Mar, Maritime Cluster and also the Junta de Andalucia got together.

During this meeting, one compared the effects which were found in fauna and flora in this part of the Mediterranean. To say the least, scientists are worried by the presented data as over the years many changes can be observed.

 

Marbella Beach

Marbella Beach

 

There is evidence that Climate Change is not something of the future, it is already visible on the Bay of Malaga. The rise of the water temperature might be thought nice for tourists but actually, it entails long-term problems which outweigh the possible positive.

There will be a reduction of fish stocks and the invasion of not seen before species like jelly-fish which can pose a health risk. Cetaceans might strand on the beach, besides that being sad can also cause a health risk and unfavorable news for holiday regions.

Jorge Baro, the director of the Oceanography Centre, pointed out that temperature changes have been detected in deep levels of the Mediterranean. For some species, it might be nice to have it a little warmer but not all species like it. The species who do like it a bit warmer are literally emigrating to these waters. They travel from India through the Suez Canal and take up residence here.

 

Unwelcome Visitors

Not all these species are welcome here as is the case of the pufferfish, dangerous as it is poisonous. This fish is nothing to joke about even if it has many funny names like balloonfish, bubblefish, toadfish, globefish, sea squab and a lot more. They have four large teeth and they use these for crushing mollusks and crustaceans.

Most of the pufferfish species are toxic and belong to the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. In Japan and China, these fish are considered a delicacy and especially trained chefs who know which parts are safe to eat will prepare it for their clients. When in danger this fish will fill itself with water and bloat like a balloon.

Their enemies have difficulty getting a hold of them which is nicely illustrated in the following video. Still, it is understandable that this visitor caused by climate change is not a welcome inhabitant of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The decline of the Red Mullet and the Hake

Even if the Malaga fishing grounds have been stable these past 10 years there is a visible decline when compared to 30 or 40 years ago. The other factor which has to be taken into account is the human overpopulation on the coast.

This causes a lot of other problems like plastic waste and the lack of sewage treatment, difficult to keep up with this explosive growth. Certain species like the red mullet and hake have suffered overfishing by trawling and it has been observed that the reproduction cycles of the sardines and anchovies are longer now.

 

Sardines on the beach

Sardines on the beach

Eating fish on the beach

I do not know if you have ever been to the Malaga coast, a meal of freshly caught sardines, salted and roasted over an open fire on the beach is a must. I used to work as a tourist guide on the Costa del Sol. Our office was in Torremolinos and once a week we had meeting, talking and organizing the transfers of the clients to Malaga airport.

We often had lunch in a small family restaurant on the beach. Maria, the wife would be working in the kitchen and her husband Pedro would come walking in with the freshly caught fish. On passing our table he would show us what to expect on the daily menu. Normally the fish would be prepared or fried in a light batter or on the grill with garlic and a slice of lemon. I arrived on the Costa del Sol in November 1976 and have these details in fond memory.

 

The rise in water temperature

When the temperature of the water rises there are more contaminants. This again causes the reduction of CO2 and marine plants are suffering and there is a considerable reduction of marine plants. They are the food source of many species and it has been observed that more dolphins and other cetaceans have stranded on shore as they come closer looking for food.
Recently a big family of pilot whales was seen off the coast of Marbella.

Morocco has also carried out studies to be informed of the consequences of Climate Change. They have observed a decline in the thickness of the shells of mussels, and clams. They have become weaker and this has reduced production.

 

Conclusion

Everything is changing and not always for the best. We should wake up to this fact and try even if only on a personal level to do things which if done by many can decrease the rise in temperature, the so-called Climate Change. Here you have a very serious video which shows us what is happening. It also shows us where we will end up in the future.

 

 

Source: Wikipedia, Ignacio Lillo for the Sur Newspaper
Photo Source: Pixabay

 

Perhaps you like to read my other post on Climate Change

Has Climate Change a Negative Impact on Genetics?

Comments

DThomasWeb

I had never heard of the Alboran Sea before. Certainly it seems like climate change is having a profound effect on marine life there, and clearly this is something that holiday makers are not aware is an issue. It’s great that you are raising awareness about this. I also didn’t know about the emergence of pufferfish in this region, and the decline in sea food species such as hake and mullet.

Jun 17.2018 | 09:58 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Thomas,

    Thank you for visiting my website. As the Mediterranean Sea is so big there are many regions with an extra name. 

    The Alboran Sea lies kind of infront of the Costa del Sol which is one of the famous holiday areas in Spain. I was also astonished to read that this Pufferfish sneaks in through the Suez canal to come and live here, not a welcome visitor. There are so many things combined which cause Climate Change, most of them man made. If all nations worldwide could finally agree on what measures to take and then also stick to that agreement there still is a change one can advert the most serious aspect of it but there is not much time left.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 17.2018 | 02:41 pm

Chris

Yet another sea region of the ‘Blue Planet’ I was not aware of – the Alboran Sea! Thank you for educating me!

It’s always sad to hear about the decline in certain fish in areas where climate change is not highlighted that often – are there many tourist locations that border the Alboran Sea and if so, what can visitors do to help out with the situation?

Oct 20.2018 | 01:33 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Chris, 

    As the Mediterranean sea is big, different areas have a name, like in this case, the Alboran sea. I am including a map so you know where it is.
    https://www.google.es/search?q=map+of+alboran+sea&oq=map+of+alboran+sea&aqs=chrome..69i57.6135j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 

    If there were not these massive amounts of tourists it would be better. On the other side, Spain needs tourists to survive. The best thing would be that humans on a whole would be more conscient of their actions so their environmental impact would be smaller.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 20.2018 | 02:16 pm

Albert

I love Spain and I am becoming a fan of your website too.

Walking along the beach is one of my favorite things to do. It really hearts to see climate change is affecting our environment very fast. Increasing the temperature of water and invasion of jellyfish is just the beginning. If humans don’t change the way they are treating the environment, things going to become even more bad in the coming years. Thanks.

Oct 20.2018 | 01:35 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Albert,

    Nice to see you again. Very nice you are becoming a fan of my website, you are very welcome.

    It is sad to see these changes happening all over the world. I think you are right it will become worse a few years from now. I hope we collectively wake up and do something.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 20.2018 | 02:39 pm

SharonRPh

I really believe this is the first climate change article I’ve ever 1. believed and 2. actually understood.  The changes you describe are certainly of concern.  I was fascinated with your story of the invading species and it brought to mind the dangers of “red tide” – which kill fish and marine life/toxic to humans as well.  Are you concerned that this could occur in your area?  Thank you for a very informative and well-written post.

All the best!

Oct 20.2018 | 01:36 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Sharon,

    Thank you for your compliment, it made my day. I try to not overly complicate things in my posts. It is more that I like to attract peoples awareness to certain issues. If then they get interested in the subject they will be able to find many deep going scientific studies.

    On the East coast of Florida there is this red tide. As far as I know, the cause of this is not evident yet. Here I have not heard about it.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske 

    Oct 20.2018 | 02:30 pm

Jaedan

Though it was a tad bit tough to follow, I think I’ve got the gist what you’ve been saying, and have to say I can appreciate the awareness you’re bringing to the subject, especially because the things you’re talking about are effecting you, your environment, and community. Things like invasive species can really have a massive effect on environments and their in-lying ecosystems and not many people understand that. Nice post!

Oct 20.2018 | 01:43 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Jaedan,

    Sorry to hear you had some difficulties following my story. You see English is not my native language so I might make some unusual twists and turns. But, as you said, you got the gist of it.

    It is quite alarming what is happening in our world. The story of the changes in the Alboran sea is but a small example.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 20.2018 | 02:45 pm

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