“The record heat has already killed a billion marine animals” – Corriere.it

by time news

One billion animals have died along Canada’s west coast as a result of the recent heat wave, in which record temperatures were reached. A group of British Columbia scientists, cited by Guardian, highlighting the damage to vulnerable ecosystems not accustomed to extreme temperatures. Over the past few weeks, the temperature has risen over 50 degrees for several days along the coast, both in Canada and in the United States. At least 500 people died in British Columbia, while hundreds of fires destroyed portions of land.

But for experts, the situation has also affected marine life. Christopher Harley, marine biologist of the University of British Columbia, has calculated that over a billion marine animals have – in fact – died in the Salish Sea, between British Columbia and Washington state: there is talk of starfish, molluscs, snails, rock fish, but also of a good part of the vegetation, such as sea anemones. Experts have warned that the area will have to get used to the new reality of sudden and prolonged heat waves, which could become more common due to climate change. Another heatwave is expected to hit the western United States and southwestern Canada next week.

«The shore usually doesn’t creak when you walk on it, but now they are there so many empty mussel shells scattered everywhere, that you can’t walk on dead animals, ”Harley clarified, recounting the thousands of decaying shells found on the Vancouver beach. Accompanied by one of his students, the professor used infrared cameras to measure temperatures, recording levels above 50 degrees Celsius along the rocky coast. “Many species – he clarified – will not be able to keep up with the pace of change. Ecosystems will change in ways that are really hard to predict. ‘

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July 9, 2021 (change July 12, 2021 | 14:01)

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