Experts believe global heat wave will increase shark attacks

Shark attacks may become more common as the global heat wave attracts the prehistoric predators to coastal waters.

The United Kingdom and some of Britain’s favorite holiday hotspots have already seen examples of the shift, with multiple sightings in Majorca, Spain, and off the coast of Cornwall, England.

And a Czech dad was killed in a shark attack on Friday while holidaying with his family at a popular Egyptian Red Sea resort.

His body was found on Marsa Alam beach, according to local media, with local officials warning people who swim on the surface in deep waters beyond the coral are “vulnerable to attack.”

But it’s not only increased numbers that might make people nervous to take a dip – we can expect some new arrivals in the coming years as well, according to a leading shark tracker.

British waters may become home to the likes of Hammerheads and Great Whites as they migrate from the Spanish Coast and Mediterranean, according to Ken Collins, a former administrator of the UK Shark Tagging Programme.

The underlying cause behind the predicted shift is becoming less and less disputed, with the American Meteorological Society releasing its State of the Climate report this week, confirming 2017 as one of the hottest years on record.

Sea surface temperatures also rose to levels rarely observed before.

US researchers have also discovered sharks are changing where they swim, breed and hunt.

Every winter since 2011 Florida Atlantic University researcher Stephen Kajiura has observed thousands of sharks as they swim along the Eastern Seaboard in search of warmer climates around the Florida coast.

Adapting to warmer seas, the sharks of today are choosing the likes of North Carolina, where waters are now warm enough in the winter, but not too warm as near Florida.

Similar logic was used by Collins after he was commissioned by the National Geographic WILD program to produce a “shark map of Britain.”

He said there are over 10 million small sharks and 100,000 larger sharks in British waters, with around 40 different species in total.

This number would likely jump to 60,  but while diversity may increase, overall numbers may still decline as species struggle to deal with the changes, Collins told The Independent.

The research suggested by 2050 sharks from the Mediterranean could start appearing around British coastlines, with Cornwall likely to be a particular hotspot.

Brits may not have to wait that long, however, with recent sightings suggesting timelines may be shorter.

In June scientists captured footage of the first official sighting of a great white off the southern coast of Majorca in 30 years.

The scientists who filmed the huge 16.5-foot “Jaws” near the holiday island said it followed rumors and multiple unconfirmed sightings in recent years.

There were also said to be aggressive tiger sharks and bull sharks in the region, but definitive sightings of the these have yet to be agreed upon.

As recently as last week a 10-foot tintorera shark caused panic at a Majorcan beach.

The shark died after being retrieved from the water for treatment of a sting from a ray, suffered after the shark swam into the shallow water.

Larger herds of sharks have also been seen near Cornwall – proving a boon for one Cornwall company.

Charles Hood, who runs Blue Sharks Cornwall, recently pictured 20 sharks off the coast and said numbers had been increasing consistently in recent years.

This relationship between climate and shark behavior is nothing new.

A paper published in Nature Climate Change in 2012 on sharks in the Pacific predicted breeds including the salmon shark, great white, blue and mako shark would all migrate northward by more than 600 miles of 100 years.

Since 1900, there have been more than 200 attacks in the Mediterranean and more than 50 people have lost their lives, but in reality attacks on humans remain rare.

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