Global warming replacing seaweed beds with tropical corals in Japan
Tropical corals are increasing and seaweed beds nurturing sea creatures have disappeared in the sea south of Tokyo Bay, local divers and fishers have found, indicating that Japanese waters are not exempt from the effect of global warming.
In the waters off Kyonan in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, seaweed beds have disappeared over the past 12 years, while young table coral that usually grows in warmer waters in southwestern Japan have taken their place.
In recent years, (the seawater temperature) hasn’t fallen below 15 C even in winter. In Kyonan, the seawater temperature has been pushed up in the past two years due to changes in the course of the Kuroshio Current, which begins off the Philippines and flows northeastward past Japan.