Wildfire smoke may harm whales and dolphins: Here’s what we know
As North America's West Coast burns, scientists are concerned marine mammals will be harmed by smoke inhalation, an unstudied phenomenon.
Little research has been done on how marine mammals are affected by prolonged exposure to the smoke and chemicals released during wildfires, but if the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is any indicator, they could face serious health effects in the years to come.
Ten years ago, as a first responder in New Orleans, veterinarian Cara Field saw for herself how the worst oil spill in U.S. history affected the region’s wildlife. The spill released 200 million gallons of oil into the ocean, much of which rose to the surface. As part of the cleanup, crews burned it off into the atmosphere. But research just five years later showed