Disease and warming seas are wiping out sea stars

Dying sea star
A dying sunflower sea star sits on the seafloor. (Ed Gullekson Photo via Science)

Warming oceans and an infectious wasting disease have combined to devastate what was once an abundant type of sea stars along the West Coast, scientists say in a newly published study.

The study, published today by the open-access journal Science Advances, provides fresh evidence for the climate-related decline of multiple species of sea stars, a class of marine invertebrates popularly known as starfish.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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