Thousands of seabirds have been found dead and starving along the UK’s east coast recently as experts blame climate change affecting seawater temperatures, according to a report.
Rising sea temperatures mean seabirds, especially young ones, are not able to dive deep enough to catch their prey who are swimming in deeper depths, according to experts who spoke to The Independent newspaper.
“The birds are emaciated – they are little more than skin and bone with many half their usual weight which is catastrophically low,” Dr. Francis Daunt, ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology CEH, told The Independent.
“I have no doubt this is related to climate change,” Daunt said. “It’s been confirmed it’s not bird flu and you don’t get toxic incidents effecting an area this big so you have to look at the conditions and the obvious conclusion is changes to sea water temperatures are having an impact.
“It is the younger birds we are seeing mostly dying and they are the ones that cannot dive as deep to reach their prey so that would appear to be the issue,” he added.
A new review of existing research earlier this month confirmed that global warming is triggering an “alarming” evolutionary reaction in warm-blooded animals with some experiencing shifts in their body shapes as a coping mechanism to rising temperatures.