Greenpeace: Mediterranean a 'Sea of Hell'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2009 2:51 PM CDT
Palestinians play in the Mediterranean Sea, at sunset on the beach in Gaza City, Friday, June 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

(Newser) – The Mediterranean Sea is in crisis because of global warming, according to Greenpeace. The group says its latest research documents the catastrophic effect climate change is having on the environmentally crucial body of water, which it dubs a “sea of hell.” Rising temperatures have sent foreign species like poison puffer fish into the water and coated the seabed with slime even as commercially important fish populations are drying up.

One Italian marine environmentalist said the report’s doom-and-gloom tone was overblown. “It’s wrong to give in to alarmism,” he said, but added that it was “important as never before” to step up research and assess the sea’s true health. Though it represents less than 1% of the world’s oceans, the Mediterranean is home to 5%-15% of known marine species, according to Greenpeace. (Read more Mediterranean Sea stories.)