May 05 2008
We’ve blamed pretty much everything else on global warming, why not increased shark attacks? The Guardian UK published an article linking the recent shark attacks to global warming. There’s been an increase on shark attacks in the last couple of years (especially in Florida). US has suffered the worst with 70% of the worldwide sharks attacks in 2007 occurring in US waters. The author suggests more people visiting the coast (due to higher general population), increased seal populations, and warmer sea temps potentially causing sharks into areas they haven’t been in the past. All the evidence seems anecdotal, and the scientists seem to be postulating rather than having any real evidence. Here’s a graph from the International Shark Attack File that shows how much shark attacks have increased in the past century. (more after the jump)
The graph looks pretty startling, but considering the explosion of popularity of water sports in the 90′s and into 2000 (surfing, kiting, scuba, etc). It’s not that surprisingly there would be an increase.
The Florida Museum of Natural History publishes the International Shark Attack File, a great resource for the jittery and curious surfers among us. Here’s an image listing unprovoked shark attacks by country. The surprisingly number to me was how many attacks there are in the U.S. in spite of Australia and South Africa having such bad reputations. In fact, the U.S. has had more than triple the number of attacks than the entire content of Africa let alone South Africa!