Amazon River: Over 100 Dolphin Deaths Tied to Drought, Heat

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • The Brazilian government-funded Mamirauá Institute has blamed the death of over a hundred dolphins in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest on the historic drought and record-high water temperatures in the Tefé Lake region.

    • The carcasses of 120 river dolphins, which could represent up to 10% of the population, have been beached on the lakeside since last week. Thousands of fish have also reportedly died in the area where temperatures have exceeded 102°F (39°C).

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While the cause of this extreme event has yet to be determined, the death of at least 120 dolphins in the Amazon is undoubtedly connected to a historic drought and jacuzzi-level searing temperatures in Tefé Lake. This tragedy must serve as a warning that climate change threatens the survival of humans and many other intelligent mammals.

    Narrative B

    It's easy to dismiss any extreme weather event as a consequence of climate change, but in reality, they're usually influenced by a myriad of factors that have nothing to do with global warming. More research is needed before establishing any direct causal link between the two.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 90% chance that there will be at least 2˚C of global warming by 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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