Alike the manifold aspects of global warming and climate change, disturbance caused to the marine life have also proliferated. One of the most striking and prominent effects of global warming is the increased blooms of jellyfish and their gradual migration towards the coastal areas.
Jellyfishes are soft-bodied aquatic animals with trailing tentacles to defend themselves from predators or capture prey and a sticky, jelly like bell which is used by them to get locomotion and propulsion. They are found mostly in the oceans and have lived on the planet for about 500 million years till now. However, some of them have a high level of toxicity within them and are even harmful to humans as well.
How Global Warming is Affecting Their Existence
Jellyfish blooms are on the rise and with the increasing global temperatures over the years, scientists have observed a dramatic boost to their population and change in presence around the world. It has been deciphered after detailed analysis that this significant rise in their distribution and populace are undoubtedly linked to anthropogenic activities including overfishing, the release of trash and toxic chemicals and habitat destruction. Let us take a closer look to the effects of global warming on their existence.
Rise in Global Population of Jellyfish
With the rise in temperatures of ocean water, the reproductive conditions of jellyfishes which used to formerly occur once every while have started to occur more frequently. Moreover, the higher concentrations of agricultural feeds present in certain aquatic areas are leading a steep rise in the growth of planktons. This will result in depletion of the atmospheric concentration of oxygen, thereby creating ‘dead zones’. Needless to say that most of the aquatic life species cannot survive in such areas except jellyfishes as being brainless and bloodless, they can survive in areas with presence of very little amount of oxygen.
Gradual Shift of Jellyfishes to the Coastal Areas
Jellyfishes boast a high level of sensitivity to the temperature fluctuations and thus, with the rising temperatures over the recent years, they are gradually moving towards the coastal regions. Furthermore, the count of prevalent sea predators including turtles is also decreasing over time as a result of which, their population is rising.
It is pretty compelling to outline a direct relation in between the increasing population of jellyfish and anthropogenic activities. While addressing the darkest secrets of their poisonous beauty, they will remain as unstoppable in this era of ecological destruction. Though it can be considered as not-so-destructive for the environment, however, overpopulation of them might emerge as an adverse impact of rising global temperatures which, will certainly bring imbalance to the aquatic community.