This New Study About Sharks Will Scare You Away From The Beach This Weekend

by John Haltiwanger

Last year, there were 98 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. This was a record number, and six people died in total.

In the US, there were 59 attacks and one death. To put this into perspective, there were just 31 shark attacks in the US in 2011. So there's been a marked increase.

According to a new study from Progress in Oceanography, this rise in shark attacks is linked to climate change and warming oceans. It's driving sharks and other marine life northward.

The warmer temperatures connected to climate change are also driving humans toward the water more. Basically, it's nice to go swimming when it's hot out.

So, the combination of sharks heading north and ending up in places they're not really expected (New York and New Jersey), as well as the fact that more people are getting in the water, helps explain the rise in attacks.

In other words, none of this is because sharks are becoming more aggressive. Honestly, humans aren't even a part of their normal diet. Ironically, this is linked to the fact that humans have not treated the planet very well, and it's having disastrous consequences for the natural world.

It's also worth noting that humans kill approximately 100 million sharks per year, due to commercial fishing.

Meanwhile, things like dogs, lightning and spiders still killed more people in 2015 than these often demonized fish.

Simply put, humans are still far more dangerous to sharks than they are to us. And we're far more dangerous to ourselves than any animal could ever be.

So, long story short: While the rise in attacks might scare you away from the beach, don't blame the sharks.