THE current heatwave has seen a record temperature high for the waters of the Mar Menor lagoon in Murcia.

The Mar Menor Scientific Committee said on Monday that lagoon water temperatures reached an average high of 31.25 degrees on July 28.

That’s the highest figure recorded since data started being collated with some very shallow areas touching 35 degrees.

The previous high averaged 30.25 degrees during the first week of August in 2016.

High temperatures are not good news for the ecosystem as they creates conditions for reduced oxygen levels which are hindered by the illegal dumping of nitrates from farms on the adjoining Campo de Cartagena.

Chlorophyll levels in the water rise and that causes lower oxygen which is not good for marine life as it produces dangerous algae which kills fish.

A total of 14,718 tons of biomass/algae have been extracted the lagoon so far this year- up by 7% on the same period last year- according to the committee.

Committee spokesperson, Emilio Maria Dolores, said 114 tons had been extracting in the last nine days which has kept waters suitable for swimmers and saved marine life.

Maria Dolores added that it has been possible to eliminate 307 tons of nitrogen and 10.2 tons of phosphorus from the ecosystem so far this year.

In context, the amount of nitrogen removed in 2021 accounts for only a third that has polluted the water this year.

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