From Marine Animal News (of course)
Climate change to bring more whale beachings
Experts studying the mass beaching of whales along Australia's coast have warned that such tragedies could become more frequent as global warming brings the mammals' food stocks closer to shore.Almost 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins died after washing up last week at Hamelin Bay, on the country's west coast.It was the second mass stranding in March, and took the total number of cetaceans to beach in southern Australia in the past four months beyond 500, including a single stranding of almost 200 on King Island.Researchers tracking the beaching of whales in the region since 1920 said strandings tended to occur in 12-year cycles which coincided with cooler, nutrient-rich ocean currents moving from the south and swelling fish stocks."These animals, most of the time they're trying to find food, that's what they do," said the project's Corey Bradshaw, from Adelaide University."If you bring them closer to an area that could be dangerous, simply because there's more food there than there normally is you'd expect to find these temporal peaks in strandings, and that's exactly what we've found," Bradshaw told AFP.
The current cycle last peaked in the 2004/2005 southern hemisphere summer, said Bradshaw, when there were 30 strandings in a period of weeks and a new animal washed up every four days.The total number of stranding events that summer was almost equivalent to those recorded for the entire previous year, he said, adding that the numbers again appeared to be reaching a peak."With climate change it is more likely that these kinds of oscillations will be more variable so you get more extreme conditions," he said."Where you maybe get a really cold pulse once every ten years it might happen every five years, and we're already seeing that.""We could see more and more frequent strandings simply as a function of higher frequency (of) extreme events," he added. Little concrete was known about what caused whales to beach en masse, according to marine scientist Catherine Kemper, who said the theories were almost endless.......
Wait a minute here "Little concrete was known about what caused whales to beach en masse, according to marine scientist Catherine Kemper, who said the theories were almost endless" I thought it was climate change, that is what your headline says, the old bait and switch huh? Go getum Ahab!