Scientists warn climate change may be driving gray whale deaths after SEVEN ...

Scientists warn climate change may be driving more gray whale deaths after SEVEN washed ashore in Alaska over the weekend amid heatwave Climate change may be causing an uptick in whale deaths says the NOAA Alaska alone has seen 22 whales wash up on its shores this year Damage to the food network of the whales may be caused by losses in sea ice  To research the problem NOAA scientists will embark on a mission next month 

By James Pero For Dailymail.com

Published: 23:20 BST, 11 July 2019 | Updated: 23:23 BST, 11 July 2019

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Climate change may be to blame for a rash of dead whales washing up on beaches in the U.S. and abroad.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a whopping seven dead gray whales washed up on Alaskan shores over the July 4 weekend, continuing an Unusual Mortality Event declared by the agency in May.

The latest string raises the total to 22 in Alaska since the start of this year. 

Gray whales have been documented washing up on shores across the U.S. and abroad leading researchers to explore the possibility of a climate change-induced die-off

Gray whales have been documented washing up on shores across the U.S. and abroad leading researchers to explore the possibility of a climate change-induced die-off

Overall, the levels may eclipse a previous mortality event documented by the NOAA in 2000 when 96 gray whales were recorded. There are currently 91 American strandings in the books.

As reported by CNN, the whales, which can weigh up to 90,000 lbs and eat about 1.3 tons of food per day were found to be malnourished, leading some researchers to posit that there has been a disruption in the animals' food source. 

'Scientists theorize there may have been a disruption in the gray whale food source due to a lack of sea ice in the Arctic last summer,' NOAA public affairs officer Julie Speegle told CNN. 

'Gray whales fatten up during the summer by feeding on marine life, mostly amphipods off the ocean floor. 

'But when sea ice melts and retreats (as it did last summer), there is a disruption in the food web that results in fewer amphipods for gray

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