Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Starfish are dying at an unprecedented rate.

Starfish are dying along the west coast, from Canada to Southern California, and scientists are struggling to find out why, and if anything can be done to stabilize their collapsing population. Warmer ocean temperatures may be to blame as a bacterial wasting disease spreads.

A victim of Starfish Wasting Syndrome. Normally, the starfish is a bright orange color. In this image, the disease is spreading, killing the creature.

A victim of Starfish Wasting Syndrome. Normally, the starfish is a bright orange color. In this image, the disease is spreading, killing the creature.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Starfish wasing syndrome, wasting disease, Pisaster starfish, tempratures, bacteria, disease, collapse, keystone, species


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As many as 95 percent of tidepool starfish in areas along the West Coast are dead or dying as a mysterious wasting disease eradicates the native starfish. A bacterial infection, which causes the starfish to "essentially melt in front of you" according to UC Santa Cruz biologist, Pete Raimondi.

The disease is known as Starfish Wasting Syndrome or wasting disease.

Victims first develop white patches on their skin, and then within a few days their limbs begin to detatch. Finally, they turn into "white goo" as some researchers have described it.

The culprit appears to be a bacteria that flourishes in warmer water. In Southern California, the putrefying bacteria last flourished in 1983-84 during an El Nino, a period of temporary ocean warming that occurs intermittently in the Pacific.

An El Nino has been predicted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for late 2013, however the experimental nature of their study and the early timing of the outbreak make blaming warming a premature conclusion. 

More likely, the bacteria could be flourishing because the oceans are absorbing more heat, or perhaps because a strain of the bacteria has evolved to flourish in cooler waters.

In fact, some early measurements have shown cooler-than-expected ocean temperatures, which suggests the bacteria may have simply evolved.

Scientists have gone into high alert mode and are working the coasts to determine what is behind the outbreak. Until they report, conclusions with regard to cause are speculative at best.

The disease notably affects the Pisaster starfish, a bright orange to purple species that west coast beachgoers are accustomed to seeing in tide pools. The starfish are favorites with beachcombers who may hold them for a few minutes before returning them to the pools from whence they came.

They are also favorites with biologists who have proclaimed them a keystone species.

If important populations of this starfish collapse, it could lead to an ecological imbalance that will disrupt coastal ecosystems for long periods to come. The starfish enjoy feeding on mussels, which may now grow out of control without natural predators to keep them in check.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Green

Incredible NASA video offers amazing sights of Pluto Watch

Image of Large areas of Pluto are completely or largely crater-free. This suggests that the dwarf planet remained geologically active until the recent past - and may even still be active today.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The distant, icy planet of Pluto was officially kicked out of our solar system in 2006. Our current solar system now only features eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. A recent flyby by NASA has revealed a wealth of ... continue reading


Are the blood moons foretelling the impending apocalypse? Watch

Image of The Blood Moon is the result of Earth's shadow.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Blood Moon will grace the skies this year on September 27-28, leading end-of-time believers speculating that the end of the world is drawing near. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - There will be blood -in the sky that is. A "blood moon" is a lunar ... continue reading


Five-foot-long 'bizarre' sea scorpion fossil discovered Watch

Image of Pentecopterus decorahensis, or

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 150 fossil fragments of the well-preserved ancestors of sea scorpions were unearthed in Iowa, according to The Daily Mail. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Named "Pentecopterus decorahensis," the creatures were the largest and oldest species of sea ... continue reading


President Obama shares apocalyptic vision of world destroyed by climate change Watch

Image of President Barack Obama viewing a rapidly melting glacier while on his Alaskan trip.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama shared his vision of the world if global leaders further refuse the facts of climate change. Warning that if we don't act today, "we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World must address climate change or 'condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair,' Obama says Watch

Image of Obama recently gave final approval to Shell Oil's drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years. Environmentalists have called down Obama for hypocrisy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama called upon world to act quickly on climate change or "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair." The president used unusually strong language at the "GLACIER" conference in Anchorage, ... continue reading


Nearly all seabird species expected to have guts full of plastic by 2050 Watch

Image of A bird with plastic netting wrapped around its neck.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently published study stated by 2050, nearly every seabird species is predicted to have plastic debris ingested into their systems. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Senior research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ... continue reading


NASA captures space 'butterfly' with Hubble Space Telescope Watch

Image of  Hubble Scope's new image of Minkowski's Butterfly, a Butterfly Nebula.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A butterfly nebula recently beamed back via NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA reports the phenomenon is the result of good luck, dust, a dying star and a smaller star. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -NASA explained that the occurrence had to do with ... continue reading


OMINOUS DEVELOPMENT: Massive chunk breaks off world's fastest melting glacier Watch

Image of It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise . the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise as the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


First for insect kingdom: Ants able to 'self-medicate' when unwell Watch

Image of It was also learned that the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing that the ants were

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The common ant is typically thought of as being an example of the "hive mind" - acting in concert with their respective colonies, without free will. Researchers have now learned that ants are able to feel when they are sick or unwell - and self-medicate themselves. LOS ... continue reading


WORLD-WIDE POWER OUTAGE: Is a massive solar flare in our near future? Watch

Image of [Photo by: Solar Flare/BENSOW]

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is highly dependent on electricity, even more so now than ever before. A massive solar storm can leave the Earth in bad shape and cause a global-scale of darkness. We must always be ready for such an event to prevent further panic and havoc. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter