2016-02-17. Warming oceans are turning sea stars to goo and killing lobsters, scientists say.

posted Mar 1, 2016, 8:11 AM by Alan Gould   [ updated Mar 1, 2016, 8:13 AM ]
By Darryl Fears, The Washington Post. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Warming waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans have increased the prevalence of diseases that are turning sea stars to mush and killing lobsters by burrowing under their shells and causing lesions, two new studies say. The outbreaks are so lethal, according to a biologist involved in both studies, that at least one species of sea star has vanished off the coasts of Washington and British Columbia and the lobster fishery, already decimated in southern New England, will likely be threatened in Maine. ...The sea-star study was led by Morgan E. Eisenlord, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell, and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Both in a laboratory and at 16 sites on the San Juan Islands off Washington’s coast, researchers determined that ochre sea stars gradually became sicker as water temperatures rose slightly. Conditions simulated in the lab confirmed what the scientists observed in the field.  As temperatures rose, the disease became more prevalent, and adult ochres died within days. ...Warming waters and perhaps genetic change in the virus  appear to increase its potency...  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/17/warming-oceans-are-turning-sea-stars-to-goo-and-killing-lobsters-scientists-say/