Researchers explained in a recent study why so many seabirds deaths occurred between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016. The study details an odd thing dubbed “the blop” as the primary cause, warming the ocean water in the northeast Pacific Ocean.
The first heatwave is said to have started back in 2013 and raised during 2015 because of the intense weather phenomenon known as El Nino.
Researchers detailed how the heatwave developed the hot water blob, estimated to be an almost 1,000-mile extent of the ocean that was heated by up to 6 degrees Celsius.
Such a high-pressure range quieted the ocean waters, and the heat remained in it, without any storm to trouble it. Those degrees of heating brought destruction to the area’s marine ecosystems.
The Hot Water “Blob” Brought Massive Issues
The heat brought a substantial decrease in the development of microscopic algae that supply animals. It also caused a large blossom of dangerous algae near the west coast, that killed cost fisheries worth millions of dollars, and many other animals, such as baleen whales, sea lions, and tufted puffins.
The murres had suffered the most, finding their death after they were washed up onshore. Almost 62,000 of them died, according to the research published in the journal Plos One. The Blob destroyed the murres’ families, and as another study stated, back in 2015, the animals didn’t produce a single baby.
“The magnitude and scale of this failure have no precedent. It was astonishing and alarming, and a red-flag warning about the tremendous impact sustained ocean warming can have on the marine ecosystem,” stated John Piatt in a press release.
The new study informed that it remains unknown how long it would need for the population of murres and other seabirds to recover, or if there is any chance for such a thing.