The Heat Is Online

Are Giant Squid Due to Warming Waters?

Global Warming Creates Monster Squid?, Aug. 1, 2002

Global warming is causing squid to grow abnormally large and speeding up their breeding cycles, an Australian scientist said Thursday.

Researchers at the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies found rising water temperatures were also causing squid populations to expand dramatically.

Institute scientist George Jackson said a 1 percent increase in water temperature caused juvenile squid to double in size.

He said a 200 kilogram (440 pound) giant squid that washed up on a beach in Tasmania last month was a striking example of how the creatures were growing.

"The body alone was not far under two metres (6.5 feet) in length and it took about four people to actually turn it over when we wanted to look at the underside," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Jackson said the world's squid were becoming much larger creatures, with huge appetites and fast breeding cycles.

He said they were also moving into regions where heavy over-fishing meant they had no natural competitors.

"If places have been overfished, squids have often moved into those areas and established themselves very quickly," he said.