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Global Warming Will Cause Eel And Piranha Invasion Of South Carolina

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First Posted: Feb 25, 2013 12:54 PM EST
Will these guys take over South Carolina's waters?

Will these guys take over South Carolina's waters? Credit:Reuters

Last year, a group of scientists worked with South Carolina's wildlife agency to study the impact global warming would have on the state if temperatures keep rising.

The report included conclusions by scientists that involved eels and piranhas invading the state's waters, the possible endangerment of animal species and flooded homes.

Unfortunately, the state's residents never got to read the report, because the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources refused to release it.

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"There were concerns about the political nature of it," said Barry Beasley, a former department staff member who worked on the report, to the Columbia State newspaper.

The report's authors urged the department to take an active role in the fight against global warming, especially because the state's temperature is expected to rise by nine degrees or so in the next 70 years.

Rising temperatures in Florida have already caused piranhas and Asian swamp eels to move into that state's waters, and scientists think that at this rate it's possible the animals will continue migrating north until they arrive in South Carolina.

According to Island Packet, the report cited numerous other effects, such as increased "dead zones" in the ocean. Since oxygen levels are low in these areas, life is difficult to support. Myrtle Beach already has dead zones, and global warming could make it worse.

Hotter sands on the beach could also hinder the survival of male Loggerhead turtles, since most newborn turtles that hatch on warm sands are female. Rising sea levels could shift larger amounts of sea water into coastal rivers, killing fresh-water species as well as ruining drinking water for humans.

As if that's not bad enough, climate change has the ability to cause more flooding on the state's beaches and marshes, destroying houses and residential areas.   

"Scientists in all divisions of the DNR are concerned over the potential impacts of climate change on natural resources,'' reads the draft report. "DNR recognizes climate change as a real phenomenon, grounded in numerous scientific studies, and DNR recognizes that thoughtful and careful planning is needed in order to protect the natural resources of the Palmetto State and to benefit its citizens in the future."

According to the now conservative-led governing coalition, however, releasing the study is not a priority.

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