Scientists in the News

Breeding Sea Stars in a Lab to Rehabilitate Warming Oceans

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

Bloomberg –

In an island laboratory off the coast of Washington State, scientists are bringing back to life a gorgeously ferocious predator that suddenly perished amid a climate change-driven marine heat wave seven years ago. A disease magnified by a warming ocean killed an estimated 5.75 billion sunflower sea stars between 2013 and 2017 — nearly 91% of the global population that stretched from Mexico to Alaska. Now an initiative that is breeding the sea star in captivity for the first time may be the best chance to revive both the species and carbon dioxide-sequestering kelp forests also decimated by climate change.