Goodbye, Lobster Rolls? Lobsters May Be Headed for Extinction Thanks to Climate Change

Might want to wrap your claws around a lobster roll before it's too late.

Global warming is such a weird concept. Not weird in the sense that it’s difficult to understand, but weird as in “why would anyone in their right mind believe that billions of people could live this way on a planet without having any impact on it?”

What’s next, you’re going to try and tell us it’s just a conspiracy invented by China? While certain people are busy denying basic science, we're trying to wrap our heads around this scary piece of news: Lobsters could soon go extinct because of climate change.

That’s according to a study from the University of Maine (which must be, like, the Harvard of Lobster Research). The study recently discovered that lobster larvae had trouble surviving when raised in habitats that were five degrees warmer than those typically found in Maine waters.

When you combine this little nugget of information with the fact that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes the temperature in the Gulf of Maine (an important region for lobster-fishing) will have gone up five degrees by 2100 as a result of global warming, you have a ton of lobster babies potentially cooking in hot water before they can even make it to your lobster boil.

The results could be devastating on the New England lobster population, which has already begun to shrink rapidly over the last 20 or so years in warmer locations like Rhode Island and Cape Cod, according to The Guardian.

To put all this in context, it means that in just 86 years we might have to begin saying goodbye to summer lobster rolls, surf and turf dinners, backyard lobster boils, and lobster mac n cheese. Perhaps you've already considered saying goodbye to lobster-eating for your own reasons. Either way, this news means the end of an entire family of crustaceans. Which, if we’re remembering our biology classes, could have some other side effects? (*cough*food chains*cough*)

All this is to say: We don't know if it's too late to rescue the Gulf of Maine, but if we want our grandkids to enjoy a buttery-sweet lobster roll now and then—or just witness those incredible creatures before they're wiped from the earth—we'd better get crackin'.

 

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