CANADA: Asphyxiate the air, then the ocean. Clams, mussels, starfish and snails, tens of thousands of these sea creatures have been found stranded on a Vancouver beach.
The heatwave had already caused the death of more than 700 people and led to the formation of a hundred fires in western Canada. But after 5 consecutive days spent under the “heat dome”, aquatic life has also suffered a lot.
Chris Harley, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia, was who sounded the alarm. On Sunday, he was struck by a foul odor while walking along Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. He was to have been “stunned” by this expanse of marine corpses.
The mercury had reached an all-time high on June 28 afternoon, going as high as 47.9 degrees, in a village northeast of Vancouver. The fires had multiplied in the west of the country.
But in the aquatic environment, the temperature rose even higher. The infrared cameras used by the Harley team recorded temperatures over 50 ° C over rocky coastal habitats.
Animals residing on the sea coast are not empowered to survive in such extreme conditions. Mussels, for example, can only withstand temperatures of up to 30 ° C for short periods.
The marine biologist now estimates that the scorching heat in British Columbia may have killed more than a billion living marine animals along the Salish Sea coast.