Climate change will kill agriculture, snow sports and eventually us, but before it does, it'll take away one of our favorite food sources: lobsters. Another upsetting report published by the Washington Post reveals the consequences of warming oceans, specifically the impact it has on lobsters and sea stars. Both animals are victims of diseases that proliferate more rapidly in warmer water temperatures, a symptom of climate change that's inescapable at this point.
The balmy ocean temperatures have increased the prevalence of a disease that is "turning sea stars to mush and killing lobsters by burrowing under their shells and causing lesions," according to two new studies published this week. The shell deterioration, which sounds painful, makes the lobsters unmarketable, devastating fisheries in Southern New England and Long Island and threatening the lobster business in Maine. As ocean temperatures continue to rise, the bacteria will spread more rapidly, threatening lobster rolls worldwide.
Though they don't taste great slathered in mayo, the prognosis for sea stars is even more bleak. One species has disappeared entirely from the west coast and others are diminishing in rapid numbers in the Pacific ocean. Though the virus has been present in the cute critters for some time, "the disease, plus death, was more prominent in temperatures between 54 degrees and 66 degrees."