Jellyfish Take Over As Humans Overfish And Change Climate

Jellyfish Take Over As Humans Overfish And Change Climate notes Tim Flannery at the New York Review of Books. Jellyfish are some of the most ancient creatures in existence, the fossil record shows. These zombie-like, sometimes lethal creatures can reproduce clonally and “de-grow” in bad times; one species, if shredded, can even re-form and regrow – it’s licked the “eternal youth” challenge. Via overfishing and creating warmer, more acidic oceans through global warming, humans are removing the upper levels of the food chain (fish) and encouraging the proliferation of jellyfish, which clog fishing nets and intake pipes, including those that lead to nuclear plants. One clogging event lead to a major blackout in the Philippines. Small, very lethal jellyfish are also spreading; a bloom of lethal jellyfish threatened a 2000 Olympic swimming event in Australia. A relative of the lethal Australian box jelly has now been sighted off the Florida coast. Unlike most jellyfish that drift, box jellies actively hunt and can move up to 21 feet per minute.  Once dominant in ancient oceans, jellyfish are once again starting to dominate – with a lot of help from us.


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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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2 Responses to Jellyfish Take Over As Humans Overfish And Change Climate

  1. I have a number of excellent jellyfish fossils that i found in our area from around 270 million years ago. If humans keep up with not caring enough – and doing enough – to protect the environment… we (life) may be forced to revert back to primitive organisms like from 270 million years ago.

  2. Rachel says:

    Great. We’ve jellyfish AND giant hornets to look forward to.

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