Another robotic crustacean, a mechanical mussel, was born on the other side of Boston at Northeastern University and was devised by Dr. Brian Helmuth 18 years ago to measure the climate change conditions of the oceans. Dr. Helmuth’s shellfish contains little thermometers and data loggers to record the temperature every 10 minutes, approximating the internal temperature of the actual mussels nearby.
“The battery powered mussels, nestled in beds from Canada to Chile and from Oregon to New Zealand, provide greater insight into the thermal stresses being placed on various organisms by climate change,” Dr. Helmuth said. The data undermines the widely held theory that only animals and plants living at the edges (southern in the Northern Hemisphere, northern in the Southern Hemisphere) of a habitat will be most affected by rising temperatures, causing them to die off or migrate. Instead, species in various “hot spots,” as he calls them, are likely to be affected by a warming world, too.