Global warming is already causing many adverse effects around the world. However, ocean warming is among the most damaging effects of climate change. In a recent study, ocean warming is causing starfish populations’ death, and there is no counteraction to tackle that, so far.
“Sunflower sea stars are among the largest starfish in the world and come in a variety of bright colors, including purple and orange. Some of them grow to more than a meter long and are so quick they literally run across the seascape,” said Joseph Gaydos, the senior author of the new study, cited by Maple Ridge News.
“But when this disease happens, it’s like a zombie apocalypse. It can have 24 arms and all of a sudden it’s walking around, and its arms are just falling off. And then all of a sudden the whole body just seems to melt. So, what used to be a “big, beautiful sea star,” and weighed about five kilograms resembles a pile of calcified parts within days,” added Gaydos, who’s with the SeaDoc Society out of the University of California, Davis.
Ocean Warming Is Causing Starfish Species Death
“It’s just a really ugly and fast disease for these sunflower sea stars,” Joseph Gaydos added. Back in 2013, the scientist recalls, researchers started to observe that starfish population began to diminish, between 80 and 100 percent in deep and shallow waters all the way from Alaska and British Columbia, in Canada, right down to California, US, as reported by Hina Alam, from The Canadian Press.
“Oceans are ‘not like a bathtub’ with consistent temperatures throughout, he said, adding that some places in California saw an increase of about 4 C while locations in Washington noted a rise of 2.5 C,” Gaydos said, cited by The Candian Press.
“It’s hard to keep an eye on what’s happening in the ocean, but we need to pay attention because this happened over a very short period of time. To have a whole species almost disappear, that’s not good,” the scientist concluded.