Pacific Northwest
A dead grey whale rests on Limantour Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco. A new study suggests there could be a link between solar storms and mass strandings of grey whales. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Canada - Solar storms may be linked to mass grey whale strandings

New research may provide more clues to how grey whales navigate the oceans

Each year, grey whales travel more than 16,000 kilometres along the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to Alaska and back. But every so often, many of them — sometimes hundreds — become stranded.

It's not completely clear how grey whales navigate the depths of the ocean during this long journey, but one hypothesis is they use Earth's magnetic field as a sort of road map.

Now a new study, published in the journal Current Biology, further supports that hypothesis, going so far as to suggest the reason for the mass strandings could be linked to radiation from solar storms and how that activity affects Earth's magnetic field.

Read the full story here.