A new study published in the journal Ecology claims last year’s heat dome over the west coast had wide-ranging impacts on marine life. The change in climate affected the ecology of beaches, bluffs, inlets & river deltas, in addition to the impact on fisheries and cultural connections from land and sea.
The heat that his the West Coast last June killed roughly a billion sea creatures, which baked to death under the temperatures. The author of the study hopes it will act as a “bellwether for future extreme temperature events, which are predicted to become more frequent and more severe in a warmer climate.”
According to the study, a network of local scientists from First Nations, universities, federal and U.S. state agencies examined 108 sites on the west coast days after the heat. UBC marine ecologist Christopher Harley said “I could smell the beach before I got to it and that is never a good sign. It’s rotting seafood.”
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