In a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, a group of scientists from various state and federal agencies, universities and bird rescue organizations documented the die-off and concluded from the data that it was caused by a record-breaking ocean heat wave in 2014 through 2016 that triggered systemic changes throughout the ocean ecosystem.
“…something’s off-kilter around the Bering Strait…”
n February, southwest winds brought warm air and turned thin sea ice into “snow cone ice” that melted or blew off. When a storm pounded Norton Sound, water on Feb. 12 surged up the Yukon River and into Kotlik, flooding low-lying homes. Lifelong resident Philomena Keyes, 37, awoke to knee-deep water outside her house.
“This is the first I experienced in my life, a flood that happened in the winter, in February,” Keyes said in a phone interview.
Food Waste Impacts Wildlife
“…a growing body of evidence suggests that our casual attitude about waste
may be reshaping the way the natural world functions across much of the planet, inadvertently subsidizing some opportunistic predators and thus contributing to the decline of other species, including some that are threatened or endangered.”
Warming Ocean Cause of Starving Seabirds
“We are seeing starvation, these birds are emaciated,” says Senior Environmental Scientist John Thompson, Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Thompson claims it is the changing weather pattern with El Niño conditions and the boost in ocean temperatures.
Common Murres Washing Ashore “In Droves”
One phrase people are using these days is “global weirding.” And I think that that is something that we’re seeing, the “blob” of warm water offshore is something that’s really never been seen before on this scale in the North Pacific, and I think we really don’t understand the implications of that yet, or what’s causing it exactly.
Shocking Report on Global Seabird Decline
Some of the largest population declines, according to the report, include terns at 85.8 percent. Frigatebirds decline by up to 81.7 percent. Petrels declines followed at 79.6 percent, while cormorants and shags populations dropped by up to 73.6 percent.
Seabird Count Drops in Gulf of Alaska
U.S. Geological Survey experts found the seabird population density declined 2 percent annually from 1975 to 2012 in the northeast North Pacific, said John Piatt, research wildlife biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center.
Microplastics Swarm Oregon Beach
ASTORIA, Ore. — Marine debris researcher Mark Ward is leading a charge to clean up a tidal inlet near the mouth of the Columbia River. The inlet is littered with millions of tiny pieces of plastic called micro-plastics. Ward has… Read More ›
“Goop” Coats Seabirds in San Francisco Bay
Rescue workers stepped up efforts Monday to save 300 seabirds found coated with a mysterious goop over the past few days that officials believe was spilled or dumped into San Francisco Bay. The sticky, grayish, odorless material had killed at… Read More ›
Seabird Mortality Rises on Pacific West Coast
Rare changes in wind patterns this fall have caused the Pacific Ocean off our coast to warm to historic levels, according to scientists. In mid-October, it was 65 degrees off the Farallon Islands and in Monterey Bay; in most years, water temperatures in those areas would be in the high 50s or low 60s.