Monday May 2, 2022

The Weather Network

At the height of B.C.’s heat dome in June of 2021, Chris Harley, a professor at UBC’s Department of Zoology, headed to West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park to measure water temperatures and observe how the marine animals that inhabit B.C.’s coastlines were faring under the extreme conditions.

He anticipated seeing some degree of die-off, but instead was greeted with the overwhelming stench of rotting flesh as sea creatures cooked in the open air, their shells popping open.

In the days that followed, Harley and his students estimated that billions of sea creatures died as temperatures soared above 40 C, and water temperatures reached as high as 56 C.

Ten months after the catastrophe on B.C.’s shores, the researchers have returned to comb B.C.’s beaches, checking for signs that the vital populations of seaweed, crustaceans and shellfish native to the coast are seeing a resurgence.

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