Julia Parrish, UW professor of biology and of aquatic and fishery sciences and director of COASST, was interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting on research findings that show that climate change is making mass seabird die-offs more frequent along the west coast. The new study, on which Parrish is the lead author, found that persistent heat waves in the marine environment linked to climate change are leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of seabirds several months later.
With its bright orange bill, white face and curling, yellow plumes, the tufted puffin is arguably the most recognizable seabird in Oregon. But scientists are now getting a clearer picture of how climate change is affecting the survival of tufted puffins and other seabirds.
A new study from the University of Washington found that persistent heat waves in the marine environment linked to climate change are leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of seabirds several months later. The researchers also found that these mass die-offs of seabirds used to happen once a decade, but are now happening more frequently, including five consecutive years, from 2014 to 2019, when millions of seabirds washed up on beaches stretching from California to Alaska. Julia Parrish is a marine biologist at the University of Washington and a co-author of the study which was published earlier this month. She joins us to talk about the findings.
Listen to the interview and read the full article on Oregon Public Broadcasting.