Swimming jellyfish may influence global climate

Nov 01, 2011

Swimming jellyfish and other marine animals help mix warm and cold water in the oceans and, by increasing the rate at which heat can travel through the ocean, may influence global climate. The controversial idea was first proposed by researchers out of the California Technical Institute in 2009, but new information may help the scientists support their claim.

Dr. Kakani Katija Young, who worked on the original paper, and her team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute published an article in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) this month, explaining how to use a Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA).

The apparatus is used underwater at night to light up animals, like jellyfish, swimming in the ocean. It also illuminates the particles around the animals, showing how the animals move the water around them when they swim.

The combined effect of all ocean life swimming in concert may have an impact on on the same magnitude as wind.

Though the apparatus was used in the original research, Dr. Young is publishing the now in the hopes that other scientists will use it to gather more evidence supporting her theory.

"We felt that it is such a powerful tool that isn't being used in the community," she said. "And I feel that people learn so much better from visual material than they do from just reading text."

Explore further: MEPs back plans to slash use of plastic shopping bags

Provided by The Journal of Visualized Experiments

3.8 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aquatic creatures mix ocean water

Nov 22, 2009

Understanding mixing in the ocean is of fundamental importance to modeling climate change or predicting the effects of an El Niño on our weather. Modern ocean models primarily incorporate the effects of winds and tides. ...

Dutch zoo breeds own jellyfish

Sep 29, 2007

Marine biologists at a Dutch zoo say they have succeeded in the difficult task of breeding jellyfish in captivity.

Recommended for you

European climate at the +2 C global warming threshold

8 hours ago

A global warming of 2 C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

chuckscherl
3 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
Damn jellyfish ... causing GW... Dr. Young needs to get a life.
Pirouette
1.6 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
Not just jellyfish. . .OTHER marine animals too
ArtVandelay
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
Ridiculous.
SleepTech
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2011
Next week this guy will want to put shrimp on a treadmill

More news stories

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

Scientists say that the Ebola (ee-BOH'-lah) virus that has killed scores of people this year in Guinea (GIH'-nee) is a new strain. That means it did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations.