Increasing Jellyfish Population May Lead to Environmental Disaster
The jellyfish population around the world has been constantly on the rise in the last year. Many scientists say this is because of global warming. However, new studies show that the jellyfish themselves maybe harming the world's environment by producing too much carbon dioxide .
Bacteria that live in the world's oceans can recycle most of the carbon that dead organisms leave behind. They absorb carbon, nitrogen and other chemicals that are set free by most fish. When jellyfish die, they turn into biomass with a high amount of carbon. Bacteria cannot use this to grow but, instead, breathe it out in the form of carbon dioxide, which is then set free into the atmosphere.
In the past two centuries oceans have been taking up about a quarter of the carbon dioxide that mankind has been producing . As more and more carbon dioxide is trapped in the sea ocean water is becoming more and more of an acidic liquid .
Jellyfish are also eating up a lot of the plankton, normally the food that fish and other organisms rely on. The increase in the number of jellyfish is not only caused by global warming but also by over-fishing and an increasing amount of fertilizers and other chemicals that find their way into the oceans.
Tourists are also complaining about jellyfish that populate coastal waters in increasing numbers. Many seaside resorts have reported that fewer holiday tourists are arriving because of jellyfish.
- absorb = take in
- acidic = containing acid; sour
- biomass = natural materials that come from living or dead plants, trees or animals; it can be used as fuel or to make electricity
- carbon dioxide = a gas that is breathed out by people and animals or produced by burning things
- complain = protest, criticize
- constantly = all the time
- environment = the world around us
- fertilizer = a chemical that you put into the ground to make crops grow
- harm = endanger
- jellyfish = sea creature that has a soft, shaky body and thin arms that can hurt your
- liquid = a watery substance
- mankind = people
- nitrogen = a gas that is in the air that we breathe
- over-fishing = to take out so many fish from the sea that there are little left
- populate = live in
- quarter = 25 %
- recycle = to use over and over again
- rely on = depend on; need
- resort = place where people go on holiday or vacation
- studies = a written paper that examines topics in detail
- trap = lock in, so that it cannot escape