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A Cooper's hawk. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The extreme heat that arrested the Western United States and Canada last month has prompted scores of young baby hawks to launch themselves from their nests, and sparked a mass die-off of marine life, National Geographic reported Thursday.

The big picture: The historic heatwave coincided with the birds' nesting season, and the newly hatched hawks found themselves without any avenue of relief other than to throw themselves from their nests, National Geographic reported.

  • If the hawks had been able to fly they could have found a shadier spot, and if they had been older, their feathers would have helped regulate their body temperatures, per National Geographic.
  • About 50 baby Cooper’s and Swainson’s hawks have been rescued in the forests of Washington and Oregon and taken to rehabilitation centers. Many have made a full recovery.

Why it matters: Baby hawks aren't the only animals affected by the extreme heat this summer, which also killed an estimated 1 billion sea creatures.

  • National Geographic adds that salmon encountered a "double whammy" during the heatwave due to higher water temperatures and decreased oxygen because warmer water is less oxygen-rich.

State of play: Human-caused climate change is a major factor behind the severity, longevity and frequency of this summer's extreme heat events.

  • The compounding of these events — "drought, rising temperatures, bigger and more intense wildfires, and increasingly fragmented habitats" — creates multiple stress factors for wildlife, per National Geographic.

Go deeper

Extreme heat, deadly wildfires scorch U.S., Europe, Africa

Computer model projection of tempreature departures from average on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2021. (TropicalTidbits.com)

Extreme heat and wildfires are plaguing the U.S. and Europe, along with northern Africa. Thursday marks the peak of the latest heat wave in the Mid-Atlantic states, with Washington, D.C. likely to reach or eclipse 100°F Thursday, with a heat index closer to 105 or 110°F.

Why it matters: Heat waves and wildfires are two clear manifestations of the growing risks and impacts of global warming, a conclusion reinforced by the authoritative U.N. IPCC's report published Monday.

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."