Australian bats are dropping dead from the heat
Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 3:37 PM - Rising temperatures in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, have caused large numbers of bats to collapse and die, prompting an urgent rescue effort from wildlife groups.
Pip Schroor shared video and images to Facebook on November 26 which included footage of her spraying water on some fallen bats to cool them down and revive them.
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Schroor told Storyful hundreds of bats had been rescued and were in the care of local wildlife shelters.
“Sadly, the colony here has had significant loss,” she said. “The volunteers have worked tirelessly to help and now it’s moved into a recovery mode/clean-up of dead bats.”
HEATWAVES A GROWING CONCERN IN AUSTRALIA
A study published earlier this year by the Australia Institute suggests there will be a "range of consequences" to that region's steadily-growing extended periods of extreme heat, including more intense storms, increased flood risk and changes to mosquito populations and the spread of infectious disease.
The study focused on Darwin, which is about 1,300 km northwest of Queensland.
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"Temperatures above 35C with 70% humidity are considered ‘extremely dangerous’ by government agencies such as the US Government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," the study's authors write.
"The number of days over 35C per year in Darwin, [Australia] has increased fourfold from an average of 5.6 days per year in the early 20th century to over 20 days per year in the last five years."
September to December appear to be the warmest months. The findings are based on an analysis of CSIRO climate data.
Current CSIRO projects suggest days with extreme heat will become more common in Darwin.
"Without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the number of days over 35 degrees each year in Darwin will increase dramatically to 132 days per year by 2030, 187 days per year by 2050 and 275 days per year by 2070," the authors say.