Baked barnacles, scorched cherries: the disastrous impact of heatwaves on plants and animals

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More than a billion sea creatures across the Pacific north-west perished in this year’s heatwave. And it’s just a taste of what’s to come

Gabrielle Canon in San Francisco @GabrielleCanon Sun 1 Aug 2021 06.00 BST When forecasts foreshadowed the Pacific north-west’s devastating heatwave at the end of June, marine biologist Christopher Harley was alarmed and intrigued.

Then came the smell, and his feelings somberly shifted.

“It was this putrid smell of decay,” Harley said. Across hundreds of miles of coastline the extreme heat baked the barnacles, seaweed, and small sea creatures exposed to the elements along the shore. Starfish that failed to crawl to shadier spots were cooked alive. Mussels laid agape along the rocks, the tissue crisped between their shells.

+INFO: The Guardian

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