Novel skin disease in dolphins linked to climate change: Study

03:15 PM Dec 20, 2020 | Sharanya Alva |

Scientists at The Marine Mammal Center identified a novel skin disease in dolphins that is linked to climate change.


Due to decreased water salinity brought upon by climate change, the dolphins develop patchy and raised skin lesions across their bodies. The deadly skin disease was first noted on approximately 40 bottlenose dolphins near New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

According to, the study comes on the heels of significant outbreaks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas and Australia in recent years. In all of these locations, a sudden and drastic decrease in salinity in the waters was the common factor.

The study was published in Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed natural sciences journal. It study helps shed light on an ever-growing concern, and we hope it is the first step in mitigating the deadly disease and marshalling the ocean community to further fight climate change


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