- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 3, 2019

Memo to Al Gore: Climate change is not always a negative factor.

Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science predict that warmer winters in the Chesapeake Bay will likely lead to longer and more productive seasons for Maryland’s famous and beloved blue crabs.

Winters will be up to 50% shorter by 2100, and overwinter survival of the blue crab will increase by at least 20% compared to current conditions.

“Blue crabs are a climate change winner in the bay. As the bay gets warmer they will do better because they are a more tropical species. We always hear about those species that are going to struggle or move. Blue crab are going to do better,” said Tom Miller, professor of fisheries science and director of the environmental center.

The researchers note that the blue crab is found along the Atlantic Coast from New England to Argentina. Maryland’s blue crabs spend their winters dormant in the muddy sediment at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, emerging only when water temperatures near 50° F.

In recent years, this dormancy period has been becoming shorter, and trends indicate it will become shorter still — and could potentially become “nonexistent.”

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