New study suggests 2021 heat wave triggered shellfish die-off

  • World
  • Thursday, 23 Jun 2022

LOS ANGELES, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The 2021 heat wave in the United States triggered the shellfish die-offs in Washington and British Columbia, according to a new study published earlier this week.

An excruciating heat wave blanketed the Pacific Northwest in late June 2021. Temperatures in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia soared to well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), with Seattle setting an all-time heat record of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius) on June 28, according to the research published in the journal Ecology.

A team led by the University of Washington has compiled and analyzed hundreds of field observations to produce the first comprehensive report of the impacts of the 2021 heat wave on shellfish.

The researchers found that many shellfish were victims of a "perfect storm" of factors that contributed to widespread death, including the lowest low tides of the year occurred during the year's hottest days, and at the warmest times of day.

"This analysis has given us a really good general picture of how shellfish were impacted by the heat wave, but we know this isn't even the full story," said lead author Wendel Raymond, a research scientist at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories.

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