Image-of-the-Week: Seaweed Exodus


Kelp.: Credit:Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia Commons.Kelp in Tasmania, Australia. Credit:Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia Commons.Our knowledge of global-warming changes in the ocean is paltry compared to changes on land. Now a new paper in Current Biology reports on alarming shifts in distribution of 52 species of seaweed in Australia during two periods: 1940-1960 and 1990-2009. In the interval between those periods, waters warmed by about 2°C/3.6°F on Australia’s Pacific coast and by about 1°C/1.8°F on the Indian Ocean coast. The authors drew upon more than 20,000 records in Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (a very cool online database), and found that marine algae migrated south towards cooler waters as the ocean warmed—shifting south on the east coast by about 200km/124mi and on the west coast by about 50km/31mi. There’s only so far algae—and all the species dependent on them—can shift before they run of of landmass to anchor to. In an interview with Australian news, lead author Thomas Wernberg says a “back of the envelope type calculation” suggests that 25 percent of Australia’s temperate marine species could be at risk of extinction by 2070. 

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate