The record-breaking Arctic blast STILL toppling thousands of low temperature records across North America has also stunned hundreds of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials at Sea Turtle, Incorporated on South Padre Island said they’ve rescued 200+ turtles over the past the past two days alone. Many were brought to the local rescue operation where they were given chance to recover safely from the shock.
According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, when sea turtles are in water cooler than 55F (12.8C), their metabolism slows and they become immobile, making them appear dead.
This is one of the earliest dates on record that such a large number of turtles have ‘washed-up’.
Since 1979, staff and volunteers at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary have been helping to rescue cold-stunned sea turtles. As a part of those efforts, they’ve also been collecting data on where, when, and what type of turtles are stranded.
Much is still unclear about sea turtle behavior, but cold-stun stranding numbers have increased dramatically since 2009. While the increase is partly due to better conservation efforts on nesting beaches in Mexico and Texas, those changes don’t explain the magnitude of the increase — a rapidly cooing climate (particularly at the lower-latitudes) is a likely factor.
Officials are asking the public to keep an eye out for cold-stunned turtles this weekend, but have urged that you don’t try and warm the animals yourself, as this could cause them to go into shock and die.
Sea Turtle, Incorporated has already started releasing the turtles back into the gulf.
The remainder will be returned over the next few days, weather permitting.
The lower-latitudes are refreezing in line with historically low solar activity.
Prepare for the COLD — grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
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