Warmer waters are a deciding factor in the survival of baby lobsters. This is happening in Maine, a state that is associated with lobsters. The fact that the water temperature has been rising every year affects the baby lobsters because they are too fragile and they can’t adapt to this environment.
The researchers tested lobsters larvae by putting it in water that was 5 degrees F hotter that the one in Maine right now. They made the water 5 degrees hotter because that is the level that is going to be reached in 2100 in the Gulf of Maine. This was predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
While now the prices of lobsters are high, the catch is big and the industry is growing. However, in the next 80 years this is going to change. The catch of lobster has grown over the last years, reaching 100 million pounds. The researchers mentioned that this should be like a wake-up call for everybody.
The study showed that the lobsters are developing faster in order to protect themselves, but from the baby lobsters only a few survive and develop into adults. The researchers used 3,000 lobsters’ larvae to prove this result.
Another issue that the researchers were trying to figure out was if the lobsters were affected by the acidification of the waters but the result showed that it was not an important factor. The only factor that really had an impact on the lives of baby lobsters was the warming waters.
In the southern parts of the country the problems are starting to show, the lobster number is on a decline due to warmer waters. The catch is declining as well to about 3.3 million pounds compared to 22 million in 1997.
The researchers mentioned that this study is important because it shows the effects of both changing water chemistry and warming.
“There has been a near total collapse in Rhode Island, the southern end of the fishery, and we know our waters are getting warmer. ” wrote one of the authors of the study, Jessica Waller.
Global warming causes damage to many species and its effects can be seen by everybody.
What do you think is going to happen to the baby lobsters?
Image source: Wikipedia