Climate Change Causing Problems on Chesapeake Bay - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Climate Change Causing Problems on Chesapeake Bay

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- According to a report published by NOAA, July 2013 marks the 240th consecutive month of above average global temperatures.

This has been causing problems on the delicate ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Ming Li, a scientist at the University of Maryland's Horn Point Environmental Research Laboratory in Cambridge, said there are two primary problems. 

Sea level rises are one of the more commonly know side effects of climate change, but the Chesapeake Bay is particularly vulnerable.  Due to the fact that the land is sinking and the water is rising, places like Cambridge have seen a rise of 1.5 feet since 1900.  This sea level rise has also caused 13 islands in the bay to disappear beneath the waves.

Another issue is the over abundance of bacteria in the bay. Bacteria needs oxygen to survive, and since the winters have not been as cold as they used to, the bacteria is not dying off. 

"With the higher temperatures, many bacteria who consume oxygen are more productive and consume more in warmer water," Li said.

Watermen like Scott Todd have seen the effects as well.

"The water quality is definitely deteriorating, it's just going down and it's just not what it was 25 to 35 years ago.  It's just poor quality water." he said.

July 2013 is the fifth warmest month on record since NOAA started keeping track in 1880.

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