Heatwave in Canada – one billion marine animals killed

Seesterne (imago images / Nature Picture Library)

In western Canada, extreme heat with temperatures of up to 50 degrees has killed one billion marine animals, according to researchers.

As marine biologist Christopher Harley of the University of British Columbia reported in the Guardian newspaper, the beaches are littered with empty mussel shells. The remains of snails, starfish and clams were rotting in the shallow water. Colleagues also told him about dead sea anemones, rock fish and oysters. The rocky coast has warmed up to 50 degrees. Mussels withstand temperatures up to 30 degrees, barnacles survive up to 40 degrees for a certain period. However, the current temperature is unfavorable for life.

Harley said the mass extinction of shellfish is also affecting water quality. Because they kept the water clean so that sunlight could reach the vegetation below. Mussel colonies also created habitat for dozens of other species. These too are now in grave danger.

According to a study, the scorching heat of the past few days in western North America would have been nearly impossible without the climate crisis with temperatures of around 50 degrees Celsius.

This message was broadcast on Deutschlandfunk on July 10, 2021.

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