Estimated One Billion marine animals killed on Canadian West coast by heatwave

Last week’s record-breaking heat wave probably killed a billion marine animals on Canada’s Pacific coast, estimates Christopher Harley, a researcher at the University of British Columbia.

The Vancouver area

The “heat dome” brought temperatures of 40°C to West coast communities, but Harley and his assistant recorded 50°C on the rocky shore.

Mussels and barnacles can survive at approximately 40°C, but the heat was too extreme.

Many sea creatures, such as snails, sea stars, clams, sea anemones, rock fish and oysters also perished. Starfish and clam populations will struggle to recover due to their longer life cycle.

Harely explained that mussels and clams filter the seawater, allowing sunlight to reach the bottom, suppporting habitats for other species.

Another heatwave is forecast for next week, with some part of North America’s West coast.

‘A lot of species are not going to be able to keep up with the pace of change. Ecosystems are going to change in ways that are really difficult to predict. We don’t know where the tipping points are.’

Christopher Harley, marine biologist at the University of British Columbia

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Source

Kanadan helle­kupoli luultavasti tappoi yli miljardi meri­eläintä Kanadan rannikolla, sanoo tutkija (Canadian heat dome probably killed more than a billion marine animals off the coast of Canada, says researcher) {Finnish}, Helsingin Sanomat, 2021-07-08

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