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, href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091008-giant-sea-mucus-blobs.html">Giant,
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 href="http://greenlivingideas.com/topics/money-and-finance/wtf-tv-ad-claims-co2-good-earth">American
Petroleum Institute public relations campaign: "Giant Mucus Blobs
are Good for You." ?
"[...]including the deadly E. coli."
Somebody needs a visit from the Prokaryote Anti-Defamation League.
I'm calling shenanigans unless someone can come up with a citation showing they're really detecting "deadly" strains of Escherichia coli rather than the ubiquitous non-deadly ones. (I'll try to dig up the PLoS article mentioned the link later and see what it says.)
Oh, that is so disgusting. Thanks a lot, I think I'm going to puke. :-/
If giant sea-boogers don't make people take action about global warming, nothing will.
Okay, quick followup - the actual PLoS One article is rather more rational:
"FISH analyses revealed also the presence of very high abundances of total Coliforms and E. coli, which are common indicators for the potential presence of pathogens. The presence of these bacteria in the aggregates suggests that mucilage could have potentially negative consequences on human health."
Sounds reasonable to me. "Deadly E. Coli", indeed. Bah.
Skip National Geographic, the original article they're hyping is interesting enough all by itself.
 Danovaro et al: "Climate Change and the Potential Spreading of Marine Mucilage and Microbial Pathogens in the Mediterranean Sea" http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0007006#pone-0007006-g002
Oh We know many little information about oceans.
What can you do? The world is changing!