Warming Atlantic drives right whales towards extinction

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale. At present, they are among the most endangered whales in the world
The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale. At present, they are among the most endangered whales in the world
The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale. At present, they are among the most endangered whales in the world
The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale. At present, they are among the most endangered whales in the world
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During the past decade, the Northwest Atlantic’s Gulf of Maine and western Scotian Shelf have been warming more rapidly than most of the global ocean

As this region has warmed, changes in ocean circulation have driven the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population from its traditional and protected habitat, exposing the animals to more lethal ship strikes, disastrous commercial fishing entanglements and greatly reduced calving rates.

Without improving its management, the right whale populations will decline and potentially become extinct in the coming decades, according to a Cornell- and University of South Carolina-led report in the Sept. 1 journal Oceanography.

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