The latest victim of rising global temperatures is the Maine lobster. New England scientists from the University of Maine Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences have found that baby lobsters struggle to survive when placed in temperatures a mere 5 degrees higher than the usual cold waters off the coast of Maine.
High temperatures actually help the baby lobsters develop faster, but despite this fact, they will often die off more quickly than when in cold waters. The effect is already being felt in southern New England where, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the lobster haul fell to 3.3 million pounds in 2013 from its peak at 22 million pounds in 1997, according to Nature World News.
"There has been a near total collapse in Rhode Island, the southern end of the fishery, and we know our waters are getting warmer," Jessica Waller, one of the study’s authors, said in a statement. "We are hoping this research can be a jumping off point for more research into how lobsters might do over the next century."
The study is considered to be very important as scientists start to understand the effect of shifting ocean temperatures and chemistry, as well as rapid climate change. The consequences of global warming are starting to become ever-clearer and pressing to scientists. Research predicts the slow-down or complete extinction of certain crops and products like wheat, coffee, and even beer.