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You are here News Of Special Interest A 'blob' of warm ocean water killed 1 million seabirds in the Pacific, study says

A 'blob' of warm ocean water killed 1 million seabirds in the Pacific, study says

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Murre birds dieA  "blob" of unusually warm sea water in the Pacific Ocean was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million seabirds in 2015 and 2016, a study released Wednesday said.

The birds — a species known as the common murre — likely died of starvation due to the warm water, which severely disrupted the birds' food supply.

Scientists say the mass die-off was unprecedented — both for murres, and across all bird species worldwide.

"The magnitude and scale of this failure has no precedent," said study lead author John Piatt, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, in a statement. "It was astonishing and alarming, and a red-flag warning about the tremendous impact sustained ocean warming can have on the marine ecosystem."

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