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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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June 25th, 2014
11:42 AM ET

Swim at your own risk: Shark attacks expected to rise this summer

(CNN) – There could be a surge in shark attacks this summer, and they could be connected to climate change, a new report from Discovery News warns.

The month of May was the hottest in recorded history, according to the NOAA. More people heading to the shores to beat the heat, means more toes on sharks' turf.

"Sharks have their own particular temperatures they're happy in, we do too," George Burgess, director for the Florida Program for Shark Research, tells CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

As waters warm up in our hemisphere, "sharks and humans both will be probably swimming farther north," he said.

Sharks "took it on the chin" for several decades, with over fishing and habitat loss, says Burgess. But the population for great white sharks is up 42% since 1997. Sharks are now thriving, and appear to be eating well, with an increase in seals, sea lions, and other sea mammals.

So why do they need to eat us?

"They don't really go out to eat us. We're involved in a wilderness experience when we enter the sea, so we're visiting their territory. And of course, we're not on their normal diet," says Burgess.

Burgess said there is a higher chance of getting bit by a shark on the east coast, "simply because there's more people going into the water."

But he has a few words of comfort for beach goers looking to avoid becoming shark bait.

"Each year sharks kill four or five people worldwide. So you're chances of being bit, and far less dying by a shark, are almost infinitesimal," he said.

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