Scientists have linked dolphin skin disease to climate change. It is this process that affects the salinity of the ocean, where mammals live, decreases.
Scientists at the Center for Marine Mammals in California have linked dolphin skin disease to climate change. For the first time since the discovery of the disease in 2005, researchers have understood its cause. They attributed this to a decrease in water salinity due to global warming. It is because of this that dolphins develop spotty lesions on the skin. They can cover up to 70% of the mammalian body.
Research has been conducted in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas over the past several years and in Australia. In all these places, a common factor was a sudden and sharp drop in water salinity. Coastal dolphins are used to seasonal changes in salinity levels in their habitat, but they do not live in freshwater. The increasing intensity and frequency of storm events such as hurricanes and cyclones, especially when preceded by arid conditions, are also making coastal waters fresher. Higher temperatures will lead to even larger outbreaks of disease in dolphins.
“This devastating skin disease is killing dolphins. Identifying the problem is the first step to solving it. With a record hurricane season and more intense storm systems around the world due to climate change, an even larger outbreak of the disease can be expected, ”the scientists noted.
The current outbreak in Australia affecting rare and endangered dolphins. At the same time, there is no cure for the disease yet; mammals cannot live long with skin lesions. This is especially true for animals suffering from prolonged exposure to freshwater.
Researchers first discovered the deadly skin disease in 2005.