More Frequent and Extreme Marine Heatwaves Likely to Threaten Starfish
Published:16 Dec.2020    Source:British Ecological Society

In experiments simulating extreme ocean conditions, researchers at GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel found that heatwaves of +8 °C, projected by 2100, killed 100% of starfish tested. Heatwaves of this magnitude are only 1 degree warmer than heatwaves recorded in 2018 in the Kiel Fjord, where the research took place.

They also found that present day heatwaves of +5 °C -- experienced in summer months -- negatively affected starfish feeding. If the heatwave was short, star fish were able to recover, but during extended heatwaves, starfish were unable to recover and lost weight.