Is There a Link Between Space Weather and Animal Beachings? Researchers Launch Study to Find Out.


Powerful geomagnetic storms that erupt in outer space have been known to cause disruptions to power grids, radio communication and satellites that orbit Earth.

But could space weather also have an impact on the navigational abilities of certain marine animals?

In February, it was announced that researchers from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) would combine with NASA on a study that would examine how solar storms may impact the internal compasses for certain species.

Antti Pulkkinen, a NASA heliophysicist who will co-author the study, provided several theories on why space weather conditions may result in healthy whales, dolphins and porpoises, collectively known as cetaceans, washing ashore.