By Robert A. Vella
They had eyes, but did not see.
When the tombstone of humanity is finally laid across its lifeless body, such a simple epitaph would seem fitting.
In yet another tragic sign of our pending climate catastrophe, the Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Patagonia in southern Chile have become a gigantic graveyard for marine life this year. Massive die-offs of numerous species have been reported there as thousands of tons of dead sea creatures have washed-up on the area’s shorelines including 40,000 tons of salmon, 8,000 tons of sardines, thousands of cuttlefish, over 300 whales, and uncounted numbers of shellfish such as clams.
Along with a powerful El Niño event which began last year, a toxic red tide algae bloom and an influx of poisonous Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish have been observed throughout the region. However, none of these individually can account for the tremendous deaths of so many different marine species.
While scientists are working hard to discover the exact causes, the general situation is consistent with the effects of climate change which result in a rapid warming of the world’s great oceans and create chemical and temperature abnormalities detrimental to the existing food chain. The situation in Chile is also consistent with a dramatic increase of such marine life die-offs reported in California and across much of the globe.
Further reading: Wave of dead sea creatures hits Chile’s beaches
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