Global Warming May Contribute to Rising Incidence of Shark Attacks

May 06, 2008 07:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The number of fatal shark attacks is rising, and researchers say global warming may be partly to blame.

30-Second Summary

In the first four months of 2008, four fatal shark attacks were reported worldwide, up from just one fatal attack in all of 2007.

The numbers have alarmed beachgoers, and scientists and shark experts are looking for the reason behind the attacks.

Some theorize the cause may be global warming. Warmer waters could mean sharks will turn up in places they haven’t before. The higher temperatures are also more appealing to swimmers and surfers.

“As long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites,” cautioned George Burgess, who maintains the International Shark Attack File.

Other factors, such as overfishing, may also be at play. If the sharks’ food supply is reduced too greatly, they could look elsewhere.

Despite recent reports, encounters with sharks are still very rare. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis reported that a person would have to swim in the ocean 112 times a day to encounter the same danger involved in taking just one trip to the supermarket.

Headline Link: Shark attacks on the rise

Background: Recent shark encounters

Related Topic: Global warming and its effect on animals

Reference: Animal safety while on vacation


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