The 120 Foot Long Jellyfish That’s Loving Global Warming

The 120 Foot Long Jellyfish That’s Loving Global Warming

Large Jellyfish

Here’s an excerpt from a fascinating post by Matt Simon that recently appeared in WiredThe 120-Foot-Long Jellyfish That’s Loving Global Warming:

The lion’s mane jellyfish only looks like a lion’s mane if you squint really hard and pretend that lions have tentacles and live in the ocean. And have translucent heads. Photo by : Hiroya Minakuchi/Getty Images

It’s those seemingly endless tentacles, hundreds and hundreds of them, that make this incredible growth possible, according to Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a marine biologist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. “They’ve got all of these fishing lures out there at the same time,” she said. “Every single tentacle is out there to catch something. They can find so much food simply by multitasking, really.”

As humans, it’s clear we need to tackle the direness that is global warming, but the lion’s mane and its jelly comrades would really prefer that we didn’t. Not only do jellies grow faster in warmer waters, temperature is a pivotal factor in their reproduction. In some species, polyps will only develop as days grow longer in summer, but others instead wait until the water climbs to a certain temperature. Thus ever-hotter oceans in these times of global warming could make for more blooms.

In addition, global warming is monkeying with oxygen concentration in our seas, which is also great news for jellies. “Colder water holds more dissolved oxygen than warmer water,” said Gershwin. “So even a really slight warming—a degree, a half a degree, a quarter of a degree—we may not feel it, but it changes the amount of oxygen that the water can hold.”

Click here to Continue Reading

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.