Can jellyfish affect climate change?


According to an article published from Discovery News, a  study shows jellyfish pulsating through the water may affect ocean currents.



Kakani Katija and John Dabiri of the California Institute of Technology completed  a study in Jellyfish lake.  They discovered jellyfish pulsating motion moves water in two days.



"Their bell-shaped heads push small swirling smoke rings out behind them, as expected, but they also drag a cone of water with them wherever they go. When moving vertically, they even manage to tow denser water toward the surface."



Ocean movement influences air temperature and spreads nutrients throughout the ocean.



A few scientists are still skeptical on whether jellyfish can have a huge impact on climate change.  According to Carl Wunsch, a physical oceanography of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, if  the study that jellyfish affect ocean mixing is true, climate modellers may face  "a forbidding challenge." Not only will they have to revise their models, they will also have to keep track of changes in animal populations.



Thus, more studies must be done to determine whether or not the discovery in Jellyfish Lake is applicable to the oceans. We may have plenty of opportunity to study jellyfish because if our current overfishing trends continue, by 2050 they may have the run of the ocean.



Watch a video on whether or not jellyfish affect climate change, click this link.



NPR provides two videos on how jellyfish move in the water.


Tags: Climate change, Jellyfish, Ocean, Seafood, Water

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