THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SNOW AND THE JELLYFISH ON OUR BEACHES
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW . . .
Researchers from the University of Malaga, have carried out a research project that reveals what may be a new way of predicting whether or not there will be plagues of jellyfish (especially of the Pelagia noctiluca species) on the beaches in the summer.
This study ties together two climatic events affecting the sea surface temperature in summer. The North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation are air flows caused by pressure differences that, when combined, lead to a greater or lesser probability of precipitation in the form of snow in our country. A higher record of snowfall and snow accumulation in Sierra Nevada, translates into an increase in fresh water that reaches the sea after the thaw.
Because salt and fresh water have different densities, fresh water floats on the surface, preventing colder salty water from rising to cool the sea. This brings with it an increase in the proliferation of jellyfish, since the high temperatures help a rapid development of the gonads and therefore greater reproduction.
But the fact that they reach our coasts is determined by the so-called Anticyclonic Gyres of the Alboran Sea. Jellyfish often choose areas with few currents for reproduction, such as the centres of these gyres, so that there is usually a higher concentration of jellyfish in them. This “safe area” for jellyfish can be altered by winds or by the strong current that comes in from the Strait of Gibraltar, displacing the masses of jellyfish to the north, towards our beaches.
Therefore, to sum up: in a year of heavy snow, there is a higher probability of jellyfish. This summer, since there have been no major snowfalls, the investigators Raimundo Real and Professor Carmen Sala of the UMA – Ciencias del Litoral de la Costa del Sol predicts a low-to medium proliferation of jellyfish.
We encourage you to enjoy the fantastic beaches of Andalusia, knowing that few jellyfish will sting you this year.
SUMMER 2019 –
SUMMERTIME – JELLYFISH TIME
The species of jellyfish known as the Mediterranean or fried egg jellyfish (Cotylorhiza tuberculata) has increased in number on the Andalusian coast because the sea is warming up. The temperature of its habitat has altered its growth and reproduction and therefore there are more of them.
Here is a little tip for a jellyfish sting: Find the nearest First Aid Post and / or go to the A&E Department of the health services who can provide specialised treatment. In the meantime, to avoid further pain, you can administer first aid by removing the animal’s tentacles with hot water or dry sand, always protecting yourself with gloves or even a plastic bag.
To ease the pain, apply compresses soaked in cold water, lemon juice, vinegar or diluted ammonia to the affected area. DO NOT scratch or rub the area. The momentary relief will disappear and the pain will only increase.
Have a GREAT SUMMER
The two species have visited us this summer on the beaches of the Costa del Sol, dragged by the currents. Rising temperatures have led to the massive presence of these jellyfish that became a danger to bathers, causing a public alert.
Many tourists witnessed the phenomenon in astonishment and dismay. The increase of jellyfish along this coast may be the result of the absence of its main predator, the sea turtle.
15TH OF AUGUST 2010
The Jellyfish Aggregations Study and detection Campaign at the andalusian beaches is focused by our Association. We therefore, ask for early information, when jellyfishes will be observed between Marbella and Málaga
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Asociación ProDunas Marbella
The Association works tirelessly for the defence and preservation of the unique ecosystems that survive in the natural sand dune environments in the Province of Málaga; promotes the protection of native flora and small wildlife; promotes recovery, rehabilitation and conservation of interesting biodiversity of sand dunes areas in the municipality of Marbella.