A recent mass fish die-off along a stretch of beach in Thailand, Chumphon province is believed to have been caused by a plankton bloom stimulated by climate change. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, Thailand, suggests that climate change may have stimulated a plankton bloom, a natural occurrence that lowers oxygen levels in the water and leads to fish suffocation. While such phenomena have happened for thousands of years, global warming intensifies and increases their frequency.
Local authorities reported that plankton blooms typically occur once or twice a year, lasting for about two to three days. In response to the incident, officials have collected seawater samples for further analysis and assessment. This alarming event in Thailand adds to the growing global concern over marine heatwaves, as witnessed by thousands of dead fish washing up on Texas beaches and warnings of algal blooms along the British coast due to rising sea temperatures.
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The British Met Office said that global sea surface temperatures for April and May reached record highs. Experts, including climate scientist Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick from the University of New South Wales in Australia, have expressed concerns about the massive impact of marine heatwaves on local ecosystems. Areas like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and regions of England are already experiencing severe marine heatwaves, emphasizing the urgent need for climate action to mitigate these consequences.