The 500 residents in Minindee, a small village in Australia, have woken up to see millions of dead fish by the side of a river. Officials say it was a result of the heatwave conditions affecting various parts of the country.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in New South Wales said that significant volumes of fish, including carp and bony herring, were forced out of the river due to the hot weather.
“These fish deaths are related to low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia) as flood waters recede,” the DPI said. “This event is ongoing as a heatwave… continues to put further stress on a system that has experienced extreme conditions from wide-scale flooding.”
“The current hot weather in the region is also exacerbating hypoxia, as warmer water holds less oxygen than cold water and fish have higher oxygen needs at warmer temperatures,” it added.
Last year, the state climate report showed an increase in heat events, rainfalls, longer fire seasons and a rise in sea levels. It warned that the situation would continue into the future.
The Director of the CSIRO’s climate science centre, Dr Jaci Brown, said the world had not seen a concentration of greenhouse gases as it is now in at least two million years, hence the extreme climate in Australia and other parts of the world.
“The concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are continuing to rise, and this is causing Australia’s climate to warm,” Dr Brown said.
Similar reports of dead fish have emerged in recent times, with the latest in February. In 2019, there was another incident in the same region.