There have been mass die-offs of the birds before, in 1983 and 1997, that were linked to climate-related food issues, but climate change will likely accelerate these die-offs. Scientists who observed these die-offs will continue to monitor this bird population.
The ocean has been warming a lot faster than scientists originally thought, according to previous research. Unless the birds can move or adapt, puffins in the area may be in grave danger. Tufted puffins at a neighboring island did not see the same die off according to the study. But with the further predicted warming of the water, the increasing prevalence of harmful algae blooms and increasing light levels that will continue to shrink sea ice, climate change could significantly stress birds in this area.