Although the last few months have been some of the warmest worldwide on record, including 17 countries reaching or breaking all-time highs, temperatures have not been above average everywhere. Cold air from Antarctica has brought chilling temperatures to parts of South America, including Bolivia where millions of fish and thousands of caimans, turtles, and river dolphins have perished according to Nature.
The estimated six million dead fish have poisoned some rivers in the region, forcing officials to find alternative water sources for local populations. Officials have also stopped fishermen from plying their trade, fearing that fish populations will take a long time to bounce back.
Scientists are unsure if the fish died from lack of oxygen due to colder temperatures or if a combination of cold weather and disease led to this rare event. Another researcher told Nature that the high mortalities may be due to higher burning of local farmland, perhaps leading to increases in river pollution.
Scientists say that proper studies are needed in order to uncover the exact causes of the fish mortality.
Citation: 27 August 2010 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2010.437.
(08/19/2010) The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has found that the global average temperature of July 2010 was nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius) higher than average temperatures from July1951-1980. In fact, this July was tied for the warmest on record with July 2005 and 1998.
(08/09/2010) The summer isn’t over yet, but already seventeen nations have matched or beaten their all-time heat records. According to Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog, Belarus, the Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Qatar, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Chad, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Ascension Island, and the Solomon Islands have all equaled or broken their top temperature records this year. In addition, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Asia was taken in Pakistan at 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius); this incredible temperature still has to be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
(06/23/2010) The first five months of 2010 have been the second warmest on record, according to data released by the University of Alabama Huntsville.