Malta experience a strong sea heatwave for third consecutive year
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has registered for the third consecutive year a strong sea heatwave that exceeded 30 degrees and which was longer and more intense. This was confirmed by the use of satellite data and numerical models to measure the tempretaure situation at sea.
Aldro Drago, an oceanography professor was quoted by the Times of Malta that the sea surface teperature marked a 5°C rise over the average 25.5°C of the past three decades. The sea water hit its warmest temperature at the beginning of the last week of July, remaining at almost 31°C for the entire day.
The lecturer at the Institute of Engineering and Transport of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology confirmed the warmenst tempretures were mostly in the south of Malta. “Measured at Marsaxlokk, the high temperatures were not consistent around the island due to a number of variables including currents.”
The phenomenon was also recorded in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Sicily and mainland Italy, and off the Tunisian coast, where temperatures rose to 32°C, according to the satellite data.
Among its impacts on marine life was the higher exposure of fish that do not move – such as those in farms – to illness, if not death. Their metabolism is faster in warmer water, meaning they need more oxygen, but this declines in higher temperatures. Coastal species and immobile creatures on the seabed in shallower waters also suffered the same effects. Reproduction could also be impacted, with autumn spawning being retarded if the sea was warmer in summer.
foto: Agenzia Fotogramma