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Oil spills and climate change double the mortality rate of British seabirds

Island has enabled us to see a direct correlation between major oil pollution events and a twofold increase in winter mortality rates of common guillemots.

"Our research has also shown that the NAO index has had a significant effect on the guillemot population. The consistently high values of this climatic phenomenon for the past 30 years may be due to human-induced global climate change. If this is the case, it would mean that seabirds are vulnerable to human activities on two counts: oil pollution from tanker spills and changes to the ecosystem as measured by the NAO index and caused by global climate change from man's burning of fossil fuels."


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Contact: Lynne Miller
lynne.miller@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
01865-476273
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
13-Oct-2005


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