Source: teleSUR Published 29 February 2016
Although the cause of deaths has not been yet determined, experts suggest they can be linked to climate change related to a “super” El Niño.
At least 100 sea lions, most of them newborns, were found dead on Chile’s northern coast over the weekend by Chilean authorities.
Researchers said this phenomenon has been happening in this region and that there are reports that is also happening in neighbouring Peru.
They’ve warned that there could be hundreds of deaths. Although the cause of deaths has not been yet determined, experts suggest they can be linked to climate change related to the “super” El Niño phenomenon that disrupts normal weather patterns.
South American sea lions have been particularly affected because the warm water does not have the same nutrients of phytoplankton that colder water has.
Phytoplankton is important because it feeds sardines and anchovies that sea lions thrive on. Scientists have said that the warming trend between 2011 and 2015 is the hottest period ever, and that it is caused due to greenhouse gases that humans have put into the atmosphere.
IN DEPTH: Climate-Induced Human Change
During the last COP21 climate talks held in Paris last year, representatives from the 196 United Nations members reached an agreement to set a goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
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