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"A giant ecosystem...has begun to break down"
Jon Lebkowsky, 11 Aug 04

The once thriving bird life of Scotland's Northern Isles is disappearing, unable to produce offspring. "A giant ecosystem that has functioned for millions of years has broken down. The reason is starvation, and the reason fore the starvation is thought to be climate change: this is a taste of things to come." An article in The Independent describes how a well-established ecology is disrupted by literal sea change:

The once-teeming stocks of sandeels, the small fish on which nearly all the local seabirds depend, have vanished, leaving the parent birds unable to feed their young - or even themselves. But behind the sandeels' disappearance is a more sinister cause, threatening us all as well as the seabirds: global warming.

Scientists believe the steadily rising temperature of the water in the North Sea, which has gone up by two degrees centigrade in 20 years, is having a calamitous effect on the sandeels, essentially a cold-water species. After several years of decline, they have vanished almost completely in the waters around Orkney and Shetland.

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