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Whales face more fatal ship collisions as waters warm

Source: phys.org

Climate change is imperilling the world’s largest animals by increasing the likelihood of fatal collisions between whales and big ships that ply the same waters.

Warming ocean temperatures are causing some species of whales in pursuit of food to stray more frequently into shipping lanes, scientists say.

The phenomenon already has increased ship strikes involving rare North Atlantic right whales on the East Coast and giant blue whales on the West Coast, researchers say. The number of strikes off California increased threefold in 2018—to at least 10—compared to previous years. MORE

Header image: in this March 11, 2006 photo provided by the New England Aquarium, a whale swims off the coast of Georgia with fresh propeller cuts on its back. The whale is assumed to have died from its injuries, as it was never seen again. Ship strikes are one of the biggest causes of mortality for large whales, and scientists say the problem is getting worse because of the warming of the oceans. Credit: Brenna Kraus/The New England Aquarium via AP.

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