Climate Change and Hurricanes, Good for Squid?

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NOTE PLEASE READ UPDATES AT END OF POST

Several news agencies are reporting today about an interesting phenomenon occurring in the Mississippi River.

The Memphis Flyer reports

In the last several years hurricanes have ravaged the Gulf coast causing millions of dollars of damage to property and the loss of numerous lives. More powerful hurricanes also destroyed millions of acres of marshes…Climate change is also greatly altering the saltiness of the ocean, what scientists refer to as salinity.

“The significant loss of marshes on the southern Louisiana coast and a less saline ocean has allowed for Gulf of Mexico water to migrate up the Mississippi River,” stated Dr. April Montgomery of the National Hurricane Center.  The increases in salinity of the Mississippi River are allowing several ocean animals to migrate up the river.

“Currently we have reports of marine species reaching as far up as Helena, Arkansas,” noted Dr. Seth O’Dod, a squid expert with Mississippi State University. A deep-sea squid, however, has lead the invasion with record numbers. “Loligo fakei, a species typically found typically in the deep Gulf of Mexico, is moving up the Mississippi in dense schools but dying when they reach the warmer waters south of Memphis,” stated O’Dod. Apparently, huge masses of dead squid are being found on the shores of the river.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 9.31.18 AMI love this quote from Earl Jones in the Helena Independent Record.

“My family has been farming the shores of the river for 10 generations and I ain’t never seen anything like this. The stank is awful but we been collecting them and spreading them across the field as fertilizer. We should have a better crop of soybeans this year.”

 Lower Mississippi River map showing areas of unconfirmed sightings of L. fakei 

UPDATE: Happy April Fool’s Day

UPDATE2: No seriously this is a April Fool’s post.

Dr. M (1636 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





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7 comments on “Climate Change and Hurricanes, Good for Squid?
  1. Pingback: Africa's Road To COP18 - Climate Change and Hurricanes, Good for Squid? – Deep-Sea News

  2. This is nothing but needless fear mongering. I’d say stop scaring our kids but even they are laughing now.
    The world of science is willing to say a comet hit is real; but they are not willing to say a climate crisis from Human CO2 is as real as a comet hit. Deny that!
    Not one single IPCC warning is without “maybes” as in “Help my house could be on fire maybe?” So science can say comet hits are imminent but not the comet hit of a climate change crisis. How did condemning our own children to an exaggerated climate he!! come so easily?
    Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets ruled by corporations and trustworthy politicians.

  3. I am ashamed to say you got me. Totally got me. Read this aloud to the family, all the way down to…. oh. Yeah, yesterday *was* April 1st, wasn’t it? *facepalm*

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