This post is in support of the new weekly WordPress blogging challenge Unless…Earth-Friendly Friday. This week’s topic is about severe weather and wildlife well-being.
Severe weather — from climate change that lead to ocean warming as well as excess carbon dioxide that increase ocean acidity levels — impact marine wildlife.
It may not be obvious to most of us because we can’t see what is happening, but severe weather changes are already affecting our marine wildlife.
Warmer ocean waters contribute to jellyfish blooms.
While jellyfish are fascinating and beautiful, and abundant jellyfish is a great food source for giant Pacific leatherback turtles that migrates from Indonesia to the Monterey Bay, sea turtle populations have declined at an alarming rate — so there are not as many turtles to keep the jellyfish population in check.
A combination of the decline in sea turtle population that feed on jellyfish and increasing jellyfish blooms creates an imbalance and a serious problem because among the food jellyfish (like the Pacific sea nettle) eat as they drift in our oceans are small fish and fish eggs.
You don’t have to be a scientist to figure out that this overabundance of jellyfish eating fish eggs results in fewer fish for other ocean creatures to eat (not to mention less fish for human beings to eat).
From an article on ThinkProgress.org on Why Aquariums are obsessed with Climate Change: Note — Sarah-Mae Nelson, quoted for the interview is the Climate Change Interpretive Specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Jellyfish are another invasive intruder that can proliferate under warming ocean temperatures. These “weeds of the sea” have become more common in the Monterey Bay over the last decade, according to Nelson.
“We always had sea nettle jellyfish here in the late summer,” Nelson said. “But in the last eight to ten years we’ve been having huge blooms of them periodically — so much so that they’ve actually collapsed our water intake filters.”
Standing in a room lined floor to ceiling with jellyfish tanks, it was easy to imagine these boneless, brainless creatures expanding out from the aquarium and far into the ocean, decimating native species in their path.
Beyond the Monterey Bay, jellyfish blooms are creating problems in other parts of the world….from a power outage at Sweden’s Oskarshamn nuclear power plant caused by water intake systems clogged by jellyfish, to fishing boats in Japan capsized as a result of fishing nets inundated with jellyfish (more info here).
Severe weather will continue to impact all of us, in our interconnected world.
To take part in this blogging challenge or to see photos and articles for the challenge click here.
This new blogging event is inspired by prophetic words written in 1971 by Dr. Seuss in his book – The Lorax …” UNLESS . . . someone like youcares a whole awful lot,nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Related post on LolaKo.com:
Post about Vellela Vellelas washed up on Central Coast beaches last year (these are also called sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, and little sail).