sarahkeenihan

Day 290. Local and global

In May 2013 on May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

local_global

This week UK newspaper the Guardian launched its Australia edition.

The ‘paper’ is independent, digital and free.

Perhaps a reflection of its new expanded geographical focus, a story on watery deaths along the coastline of South Australia was available via click-throughs on the Environment pages at both the UK and Australia sites this week.

Written by Malcolm Sutton*, Warmer seas could lead to more dolphin deaths in South Australia describes the phenomenon of drastically elevated numbers of dolphin and other marine species carcases washing up on metropolitan and regional SA beaches in recent months.

The deaths are being officially blamed on algal blooms – growth explosions of floating microscopic algae – resulting from a prolonged period of elevated sea water temperatures during March 2013. Other theories include algal blooms due to discharge from the Port Stanvac desalination plant, and viral infection in heat-stressed, immunocompromised dolphins.

No firm answer will be available until autopsies on the dolphin carcasses are completed.

For me, the publication of the story on an international newspaper website shows how stories sourced from little-known places around the world can contribute to a body of evidence. In this case, the story has broad interest due to its connection with other stories on warming of oceans due to climate change (for other examples, see here and here).

*presumably the same Malcolm Sutton as he at Stock Journal

[image thanks to Les Haines on flickr]

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