Whale Deaths In US' West Coast Could Be Linked To Arctic Heat

0
11

Fifty-eight grey whales have been discovered stranded and lifeless to this point this yr in websites stretching from California to Alaska, in response to the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fifty-eight grey whales have been discovered stranded and lifeless to this point this yr in websites stretching from California to Alaska, in response to the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Dozens of grey whales have been discovered lifeless alongside the U.S. West Coast in current weeks and a few scientists consider the trigger lies far to the north, within the heated-up Arctic waters off Alaska.

The most recent discovery introduced on Wednesday by NOAA was a lifeless grey whale in Turnagain Arm, a slender glacier-fed channel off Anchorage the place grey whales hardly ever enterprise.

Useless whales examined to this point have been malnourished, and the present speculation is the animals did not eat sufficient final yr of their summering grounds within the Bering and Chukchi seas off Alaska, Milstein mentioned.

“They’re moving north from their wintering grounds in Mexico and appear to be running out of steam,” Michael Milstein, a spokesman for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, mentioned on Thursday.

That’s the place they do most of their annual feeding and the place they pack on the fats that carries sustains them till the subsequent summer season, he mentioned.

Most of the lifeless whales have been present in San Francisco Bay and Puget Hold forth Seattle. The animals could also be stopping there to search for meals, or they could possibly be “exhausted and they’re there looking for a place to rest,” Milstein mentioned.

“People think that clearly something happened up there that led the whales to not get as much food,” Milstein mentioned. “Given that they put on the bulk of their weight in the summer season up there, the die is sort of cast there.”

GROWING POPULATION

The warming Arctic waters will not be the one idea in regards to the whale deaths.