Climate change is being felt in and around Tasmania, reports the Hobart Mercury. Among the noticeable effects, ocean temperatures along Tazzie’s east coast have warmed by a full degree Centigrade since 1940. A report commissioned by the Australian Greens party warns of impending damage to Tasmania’s fisheries and agriculture, including its Atlantic salmon farms (not that farmed Atlantic salmon is a good thing, you understand – just search Google on the topic.)
Already, the warmer water temperatures have been blamed for the arrival of the long-spined sea urchin. Scads of these invasive aquatic pincushions have moved into the (not quite so) cold waters and laid waste to the $150 million (Australian) abalone fishery. Interestingly, the long-spined sea urchin’s southern range extent, until recently, was around Sydney. That’s ABOUT 500 MILES NORTH of Tasmania.
And this news hits me fresh off a showing of An Inconvenient Truth, where Al Gore fingers climate change as a disruptive agent that allows species to become invasive. And I thought he was stretching the point at the time.
Once again, the photo above is not the real long-spined sea urchin – to see one of these basketball-sized specimens click the urchin link above. My image comes, once again, from the NOAA Photo Library. Thanks, NOAA!