The Thames was declared biologically dead 64 years ago, but a recent health check on the river shows positive signs of new life, enough to make one Londoner rejoice. Experts led the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) assessment, which found surprising species now live in the river, such as sharks, seahorses, eels and seals.
However, part of the report also showed that worsening climate change caused a 0.34 ° F (0.19 ° C) increase in summer temperature since 2007 and in sea level.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The Houses of Parliament and the River Thames, from the London Eye
The Thames comes to life
The Thames in London was so polluted that the Natura History Museum declared it biologically dead in 1957. But more than 60 years later, ZSL reveals the very first state of the Thames report that carried out a health check of River.
The report says about 115 species of fish now live in the river which provides food for three species of sharks, which swim right above seahorses and eels.
Additionally, the report highlights the gradual work environmental groups are doing to reduce the strain on life in the river over the past six decades, while it was still polluted. More so, he reported that oxygen levels have increased as phosphorus concentrations in the river have dropped dramatically.
Alison Debney, ZSL Wetland Restoration Program Manager, noted that the report shows how far the river has come on its way to recovery in the past 64 years.
According to Good News Network, the ZSL has been restoring the river as a tidal and estuary ecosystem for almost 20 years since 2003. Experts noted that the best way to measure its progress is to assess the evolution of the estuary. river, in particular on the main predators: the gray and the harbor seal.
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Climate change threatens progress of the Thames
Although it is now becoming home to wildlife and showing other positive notes, the report also found that climate change is negatively affecting the Thames.
An article in United States today clarified that parts of the river have seen an increase in temperatures every year since 2007. More so, the State of the Thames report also showed that an area of the river is steadily increasing by an average of 0.17 inches every year from 1990 to 2018.
In addition, not all animals in the river are experiencing positive and encouraging growth even though researchers have seen flourishing wildlife. The report says the number of fish species in the Thames has declined and researchers have yet to find the reason. However, they plan to do more research to determine its cause.
The very first state of the Thames report may be complete, but ZSL said it would review the data in the next five to 10 years as it monitors the river.
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