Sea Lamprey And Climate Change Essay

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The two issues that will be discussed in this essay are sea lamprey and climate change. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is a parasitic fish. It is eel-shaped. It does not have jaws or other bony structures; instead it possesses a skeleton made of cartilage. It is native to the Atlantic Ocean and it is also able to be found in the Great Lakes. It feeds on most species of large Great Lakes fish such as lake trout, lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, walleye, and catfish. The sea lamprey kills their host by attaching to a fish with their mouth then use their teeth to grip the flesh. It secretes an enzyme that prevents blood from clotting while it feeds on the fish’s body fluids (Great Lakes Fishery Commission). Climate change is the long-term…show more content…
Many of the ocean’s and Great Lake’s properties can be altered due to climate change. The two important indicators of climate change in the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes are sea level and sea surface temperature. In the Atlantic Ocean, as greenhouse gasses trap more energy from the sun, the ocean is absorbing more heat. This results in an increase in sea level and sea surface temperature. The overall increase in sea surface temperatures has occurred during the past three decades. The rate of increase in sea level has increased to more than an inch per decade in recent years. An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which dissolve in water, have lead to an increase in ocean acidity (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2015). In the Great Lakes, lake ice form later than expected because warmer sea surface temperatures in the Great Lakes have contributed to a decrease in sea level by increasing rates of evaporation. This extends the season for evaporation (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2015). Out of the five lakes, Lake Superior is warming the fastest because it is the largest, deepest and coldest of all the Great Lakes (Public Radio International,

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