Monday, October 12, 2015

We don't really understand how anything works. Here, have some lobster.

The enigma behind America’s freak, 20-year lobster boom - Quartz: "Even more remarkable than sheer volume, though, is that this sudden sixfold surge has no clear explanation. A rise in sea temperatures, which has sped up lobster growth and opened up new coastal habitats for baby lobsters, is one likely reason. Another is that by plundering cod and other big fish in the Gulf of Maine, we’ve thinned out the predators that long kept lobster numbers in check. Both are strong hypotheses, yet no one’s sure we really understand what’s going on."
Sidenote: This kind of thing always reminds me of the hubris of things like "We can reconfigure climate change to our liking."  The sheer audacity of that given we we don't understand the simplest things very well.  See also: "complex adaptive systems" and unintended consequences.

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