1 billion intertidal animals roasted in the BC heat wave


The recent heat wave that swept the west coast of the United States and Canada caused many casualties, of which at least 486 were British ColumbiaBut when the thermometer reached an unprecedented 121 degrees in Lytton, British Columbia, a little-known tragedy related to high temperatures was taking place on the coast, as one billion marine life was roasted to death.

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Christopher Harley noticed a rotten smell at Kitsilano Beach Vancouver During the heat wave. A marine ecologist at the University of British Columbia followed his nose and found dead intertidal animals on the rocks on the beach. Halley and other researchers then inspected nearby coastal areas and found similar damage.As Canadian Broadcasting Corporation According to reports, researchers saw “rows of mussels with dead flesh attached to their shells, as well as other dead creatures such as starfish and barnacles.”

Related: Global warming promotes large-scale migration of marine life

Mussels can withstand a short spray of 100 degrees the weatherBut when the rocky coastline reached 122 degrees, measured by Halley and his team, the poor mussels were grilled. Harley compares their situation to “a toddler staying in the car in hot weather.” After all, it is not like mussels, starfish or sea anemones that can wander somewhere in search of shade. “Saturday, Sunday, Monday, during the heat wave, the weather becomes very hot and the mussels can’t do anything about it,” Halle said.

Harley estimates more than one billion animal People living on the coast of the Salish Sea were killed in the Thermal Dome incident. He calculated how many mussels can fit in a small area and then multiplied by 7,000 kilometers of affected coastline to arrive at this number.

People may not care much about mussels, but bivalve molluscs are an important part of mussels ecosystem. Both migratory birds and starfish eat them. Harley predicts that mussels will recover within a few years, but the longer-lived starfish and clams will take more time to regenerate.

by Vancouver Sun., protector, Common dream

Guide image via Pixabay



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