"Increasingly Frequent Ocean Heat Waves Trigger Mass Die-Offs of Sealife"

"Heat waves recently extended across nearly 30 percent of the world’s oceans, an expanse equivalent to the surface area of North America, Asia, Europe and Africa."

"Over the past several years, the temperature of the Earth’s oceans have been spiking high enough to trigger numerous die-offs of marine species, killing millions of corals, fish, mammals, birds and plants. Those mass die-offs also have sent a wave of emotional trauma washing over some researchers watching their life’s work vanish before their eyes.

“We talk a lot about eco grief, that sense of being overwhelmed and feeling loss,” said Jennifer Lavers, who has been tracking how thousands of seabirds have starved to death during recent ocean heat waves off the coast of western Australia as coordinator of the nonprofit marine research Adrift Lab.

Right now the extreme ocean heat in her region is waning, but globally, marine heat wave conditions extend across nearly 30 percent of the planet’s oceans, a surface area equivalent to all of North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The harms of long-term gradual ocean warming are well documented, but Lavers said the most recent studies show that increasingly frequent pulses of extreme heat are doing the most damage to marine ecosystems."

Bob Berwyn reports for Inside Climate News May 1, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 05/02/2024