MALAGA City has logged the warmest sea-surface temperature since daily measurements began in 1984.
It seems that the prolonged high temperatures across most of the Peninsula have unleashed a marine heatwave in the Mediterranean Sea, including the capital of the Costa del Sol.
The measurements, taken by local authorities yesterday morning, Wednesday August 3, read 27.8ºC—whipping the previous record of 27.3ºC set on October 1, 2018.
The warmest water temperature in August for Malaga City averages around 23.4°C.
Consequently, the temperature recorded yesterday was 4.4ºC above the average for this month.
According to marine experts, the warmer air along with shifting ocean currents and a stable sea surface have warmed coastal Mediterranean waters by several degrees.
In the case of Malaga City, marine biologist and lecturer at the University of Malaga, Juan Jesus Martin, has said that due to the location of the Costa del Sol at the ‘heart of the Alboran sea’—where surface water from the Atlantic enters and mixes with water from the Mediterranean—‘warm and spiral currents’ are formed.
Unfortunately, a prolonged marine heatwave in the Mediterranean Sea places the marine ecosystem in danger and could kill off several species such as some species of algae, affecting the food chain and consequently adding pressure to ecosystems already struggling from over-fishing and plastic pollution.
Marine heatwaves, which are far less researched than heatwaves on land, are regrettably becoming more frequent due to climate change.