National Geographic reports on a new consequence of global climate
change: giant, mucus-like sea blobs. They’ve been around for a
while, actually, but now there are more of them.
This is from the on-line article,
Mucus-Like Sea Blobs on the Rise, Pose Danger. The danger
comes from the fact that these blobs harbor bacteria:
The study team discovered that the blobs are hot spots for
viruses and bacteria, including the deadly E. coli. Coastal communities
regularly test for E. coli, and its presence is enough to close beaches
Study leader Donavaro said, “Now we see that … the release of pathogens
from the mucilage can be potentially problematic” for human health.
They start out as little flecks known as “marine snow.” They
accumulate bits of dead organic matter, and some tiny living
things. Because they are more common in warmer water, the
increase is being attributed to global climate change.
Anyone want to place a bet on how long it takes for us to see an
Petroleum Institute public relations campaign: “Giant Mucus Blobs
are Good for You.” ?