Can climate change cause the break-ups of albatrosses?



Albatrosses usually mate for life, but climate change may be driving the birds to “divorce,” a study published by New Zealand’s Royal Society, by a team that had MARE researcher Paulo Catry, says.


The study of 15,500 breeding pairs of black-browed albatrosses in the Falklands found that the divorce rate among the birds increased in years in which the ocean was warmest.


But why? Because warmer seas appear to disrupt their life by changing their arrivals for the breeding season late or in poorer health after having flown farther to find food.


“We expect cooler waters to be associated with more nutrient-rich and more resource-rich conditions, whereas warmer waters are resource-poor conditions,” said another Portuguese researcher, from CESAM, Francesco Ventura.

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