The recent heat wave that killed up to 500 people along Canada’s Pacific Coast probably killed a billion marine animals
I suppose it’s an example of a phenomenon where exceeding a critical threshold value causes lots of damage. In this case, below the deadly threshold animals are stressed by warm tempreratures but most survive. When the threshold is exceeded, suddenly we are facing mass mortality.
In some areas, climatic conditions are likely to exceed the threshold of human survival within the next decades, at least occasionally. I read that there are already some weather stations where the critical threshold value has been exceeded for 1-2 hours. Humans can survive these conditions for some hours but not much longer. I hope that the people living in those areas do not face mass mortality when conditions (high temperature + humidity) exceed the critical threshold. Mass migration from those areas may cause problems but it’s better than mass mortality.
Thanks for reading. We’re already getting mass mortality from heat waves.
That should create a good stratum!
It might, but taphonomic processes (death, decay, destruction…) may mix things in enough to make it less obvious.
Change over decades can be recognized in the subfossil record, well enough to determine likely human activities triggering particular environmental changes.
Hundreds have died. That is a tragedy but I would not call it mass mortality. I meant something where tens of percentages of a local population dies within a short time frame because of an intolerable combination of heat and humidity. That is unlikely now but may happen in some areas as the warming continues.
Cooling systems inside buildings can help survival over the critical periods but all areas are not wealthy enough to have cooling inside buildings or reliable energy transfer for the coolers.
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