In another week that saw massive unexplained deaths in both marine and avian life, United States scientists believe it is only going to get worse. The slowing has had a catastrophic effect on the natural habitats, behaviors and internal systems of our wildlife. The throwing of the tides and shifting currents and poles have disrupted navigation systems, and animals that have previously migrated are no longer able to source food, shelter or safe passage.
The events have not been isolated. In Australia last week, 2,000 pilot whales and 1,200 dolphins were found washed up on their coasts. In South Africa four days later, it was 89 killer whales. On Tuesday, California received another shock as 248 whales were discovered beached in the sand.
Coastguard, Eddie Hall said of the discovery “I’ve been working these beaches for thirty years and we had two whales in that whole time, since the slowing started we just get more and more every day, but this has been the biggest so far, it is like something from an end of the world movie.”
“People come down to try and encourage the whales back into the sea and keep them wet but they are dying and there is nothing we can do. I guess the changes we’re seeing to the weather these days are to blame.” he said.
Reports have also come in from across the country of birds falling from the skies and piles of reptile skeletons, not to mention the critical damage to crops and natural habitats.
A spokesperson from the North American Wildlife Foundation says “Climate change is happening on a global scale and effects on our wildlife will be profound. The destructive forces of the slowing have already demonstrated that the survival of our natural world is in dire straits and at this stage we do not know if the effects will be reversible.”
Patients with severe skin damage caused by exposure to the sun will continue to rise say experts.
Since the first signs of the slowing 12 weeks ago, the numbers of people admitted to specialist skin clinics and hospitals has increased at an alarming rate. San José hospital in California has reported a 43% increase in emergency burn cases, in some instances patients suffering from third degree burns following extended exposure to the sun. Complaints of exhaustion, depression and various other psychological conditions that are seen as a direct result of the slowing are also on the rise.
What began as a subtle lengthening of time in the twenty-four hour day has now reached an unpredicted 37 hours, the temperature currently reaching highs of 135 degrees. The gradual depletion of ozone layer, is allowing large amounts of radiation to leak into the atmosphere which, regardless of cloud covering, results in illnesses such as sunburn, skin cancers, and permanent eye damage.
Research programs have been making a coordinated effort to gather information on the diagnosis and treatment of sun related health problems, but it is prevention that specialists say is the key.
Leading oncologist Dr Amanda Herringbone is critical of the measures being taken by the authorities to advise citizens since the slowing began; “The government recommends everybody should stay indoors whenever the duration of sunlight had exceeded twenty-five hours but the only way to prevent sun damage is to remain indoors altogether during daylight and wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses at all times. Children are particularly at risk and parents must be responsible of preventing any sun exposure altogether.”
And what’s worse, the numbers can only continue to rise. The fact that there is often a lag time of a number of years between sun damage and manifestations of skin cancer, means that those who were unprotected in the early days of the slowing may still develop the disease. As there seems to be only further lengthening of daylight hours, and higher radiation levels, experts say that now is the time to act.