Navigation Links
Oil spills and climate change double the mortality rate of British seabirds

New research from the University of Sheffield has shown that major oil spills and a changing climate have had a far greater impact on populations of British sea birds than was previously thought.

A team led by Professor Tim Birkhead from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, shows for the first time that major oil spills double the mortality rate of adult guillemots in Britain, even though the pollution occurs hundreds of miles from the birds' breeding grounds. The research, which is to be published in the November issue of Ecology Letters also shows a direct link between a warmer climate in the North Atlantic and a higher mortality rate among British guillemots.

Professor Birkhead's long-term guillemot study has been carried out on Skomer Island, Wales, since 1972. The length of the ongoing study has allowed the research team to study the effects of a number of serious winter oil spills on the guillemot population. Their findings show that highly publicised oil spills in southern Europe, such as the Prestige oil tanker disaster off the coast of Galicia, Spain, in November 2002, have far-reaching consequences on seabirds breeding far from the scene of the initial pollution.

The study has also found that consistently high values of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index (an annual measure of a large scale climatic phenomenon affecting winds, temperature and rainfall) for the past 30 years, has had a negative effect on the guillemot population of Skomer Island.

Professor Tim Birkhead of the University of Sheffield said: "Prior to our investigation of the guillemot population of Skomer Island, the impact of oil pollution on seabird mortality rates at a particular colony was difficult to quantify as oil spills usually occur in wintering areas where birds from many different colonies may be distributed over a wide area. However, our long-term monitoring of individually marked birds on Skomer I sland has enabled us to see a direct correlation between major oil pollution events and a twofold increase in winter mortality rates of common guillemots.

"Our research has also shown that the NAO index has had a significant effect on the guillemot population. The consistently high values of this climatic phenomenon for the past 30 years may be due to human-induced global climate change. If this is the case, it would mean that seabirds are vulnerable to human activities on two counts: oil pollution from tanker spills and changes to the ecosystem as measured by the NAO index and caused by global climate change from man's burning of fossil fuels."


Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find fossil proof of Egypts ancient climate
2. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
3. Africa to take it on chin again with climate change
4. Ocean climate predicts elk population in Canadian Rockies
5. Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation
6. York scientists warn of dramatic impact of climate change on Africa
7. New markers of climate change
8. Disappearing arctic lakes linked to climate change
9. Field tested: Grasslands wont help buffer climate change as carbon dioxide levels rise
10. Study shows big game hunters, not climate change, killed off sloths
11. Lethal needle blight epidemic may be related to climate change
Post Your Comments:

(Date:9/24/2015)... 24, 2015  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of ... winning and latest technology in Booth #602 at next ... . EyeLock,s iris authentication technology provides an ... accuracy, making it the most proven way to authenticate ... technology to deliver a fast and friendly user experience ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... 2015 Report Details Emerging ... Opportunities and Revenue Prospects to Help You Stay ... especially new drug classes? Get the latest technological ... exclusive market data and industry knowledge, benefitting your ... opportunities and sales predictions. Visiongain,s new study ...
(Date:9/10/2015)...  NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... growing mobile commerce market, announces that the ... Modern, will feature the Wocket® smart wallet for the ... Touch Of Modern is an online ... to its 7.2 million members. Customers are affluent, urban ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... high-quality recombinant antibodies, today announced that it has received a Phase I Small ... administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), will fund the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... --      Q BioMed Inc (OTC: QBIO), ... a strategic relationship with Wombat Capital, Ltd., a ... France based strategic and scientific advisory firm.. ... collaborative arrangement gives Q BioMed and its stakeholders access ... as long established pharmaceutical industry relationships. The advisors within ...
(Date:10/13/2015)...  According to Kalorama Information, the global market ... by the end of 2015. Clinical laboratories are ... it is estimated that approximately 80% of physicians, ... addition to diagnosing patients, clinical lab testing may ... drug treatment and conditions, and determine individual therapy. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and distributor of automation systems, material handling solutions and components, is opening its ... I-94 near State Street, the facility is Exotic’s second major expansion in Metropolitan ...
Breaking Biology Technology: