Climate Detectives Projects 2019-2020

Project topic: Rivers & Lakes

Project title: Global warming and Mar Menor lagoon: a history to be written

Team: rECOnsidera. Climate Detectives IES La Flota

2019-2020   IES La Flota   Murcia   Spain   11 Student’s age: 12-13, 14-15

Summary of the project

The ecological balance of the Mar Menor began to show clear signs of degradation in the late 1990s. Scientists and environmental groups repeatedly sounded the alarm, but it was not until 2016 that public opinion became aware of the dimension of the problem. In the summer of that year, the enormous growth of phytoplankton due to eutrophication generated a visible “green soup” that triggered the alarms. Additionally, global warming is a major issue in Spain. Thus, we have such a hughe mix of problems affecting the ecological balance of the Mar Menor lagoon. To study this complex problem, we have followed differents sources such as interviews with high-relevant researchers, graphical analysis, satellite information and bibliographic information.

Main results

Although maths models and researcher’s point of view indicates that global warming will be a major issue for the Mar Menor lagoon, the data set is still too short to make a conclusion about the relationship between the Mar Menor ecological situation and global warming. Even, global warming will also affect economical activities such as tourism and agriculture and as a consequence the Mar Menor sustainability.

Actions to help lessen the problem

This problem is too complex and there is no evidence about one “magic” solution to solve this environmental issue. In our opinion, we have to advance the potentially harmful effects from agriculture and tourism. Thus, awareness campaigns should be included in order to improve agricultural management and tourism.

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