Canada: Scientists monitoring new marine heat wave off B.C. coast similar to 'The Blob' - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaScientists monitoring new marine heat wave off B.C. coast similar to 'The Blob'

00:05  06 september  2019
00:05  06 september  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Krill have rebounded off the west coast . "It indicates that to some extent the ecosystem is able to Now, scientists are ramping up efforts to study similar firestorms that are gathering strength in other corners The changes, the authors wrote, would probably push " marine organisms and ecosystems to the Even as researchers close the book on The Blob , they are keeping a close watch on new heat

The Blob , a so-called marine heat wave without modern precedent, began forming off the West Coast in late 2014 and over The 4-year-old chinook that southern residents particularly target are forecast to be scarce nearly everywhere across the whales’ vast migratory range from Washington waters into B . C .

A new marine heat wave spreading across a portion of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia has so far grown into the second largest of its kind in the last four decades, officials say, second only to the infamous "blob" that disrupted marine life five years ago.

The swath of unusually warm water stretches roughly from Alaska down to California, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States. The marine phenomenon began in the Gulf of Alaska sometime around June 15 and ballooned over the summer.

A marine heat wave happens when sea surface temperatures are higher than normal for at least five consecutive days.

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Nicknamed “ the blob ”, it was arguably the biggest marine heatwave ever seen. It may have been the worst It might seem strange given their huge impact but the concept of a marine heatwave is new to This year at least three parts of the coast have been devastated by extreme water temperatures.

The blob , a large swath of warmer-than-normal water has returned to the North Pacific Ocean. It's believed to affect marine ecosystems and contribute to Castellan said the blob typically occurs when the weather is stagnant. Next week, stormy weather is expected to return to the B . C . coast , which

Officials tracking the system said it is already the second-largest experts have seen since 1981 — the first year for which satellite data used to track marine heat waves is available.

"Already, on its own, it is one of the most significant events that we've seen," Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Centre in La Jolla, Calif., said in a statement Thursday.

Leising said this year's heat wave resembles a similar West Coast heat wave that upset marine life in 2014 and 2015. Nicknamed "The Blob," the system which stretched from Mexico to the Bering Sea, was blamed for warmer weather on land, abysmal feeding conditions for salmon and the sudden deaths of two dozen whales in the Pacific.

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Off the San Diego coast , scientists earlier this month recorded all-time high seawater temperatures Marine biologists nicknamed a patch of persistent high temperatures in the Pacific Ocean between 2013 and 2016 “ the Blob .”

Off the San Diego coast , scientists earlier this month recorded all-time high seawater temperatures since daily measurements began in 1916. Between 1982 and 2016, the number of " marine heat waves " roughly doubled, and likely will become more common and intense as the planet warms, a

Scientists monitoring new marine heat wave off B.C. coast similar to 'The Blob' © National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea surface temperature anomaly maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States show temperatures in the Pacific Ocean above normal in orange and red. The map on the right represents September 2019, while the figure on the left represents the early stages of the 'blob' phenomenon of 2014 and 2015.

The Blob saw temperatures in the water peak at 3.9 C above average. The NOAA said the water this year has already reached temperatures of more than 2.7 degrees C above average off the coast of Washington state.

"It's on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event," said Leising, who developed a system for tracking and measuring heat waves in the Pacific Ocean using satellite data.

"It's really only time that will tell if this feature is going to persist and then rival [the Blob]."

NOAA said its staff is monitoring this year's system to see whether it will last long enough to impact the marine ecosystem, though some biologists suggest it already has based on its sheer size.

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We’re getting heat waves or near heat waves almost every year, and in some years almost every He said the warm mass — a “dark blob ” on satellite maps — had stalled there, blocking colder, less The marine heat wave may be the result of a “weakening” of the ocean currents — known as the Atlantic

High-profile marine heat waves like “ the blob ,” a huge mass of warm water that was present off the U.S. West Coast from 2014-2016, were included Particularly worrying to the scientists were regions with dense biodiversity that experienced warming. Those regions were especially at risk of life being

The agency blamed the recent marine heat wave on a persistent weather pattern that began in June: weaker winds and a weaker high pressure system over the wedge of warm ocean between B.C., Hawaii and Washington state.

Officials say a formal analysis to try to pinpoint the cause of the phenomenon will take "some months" to complete. During the previous "blob" event, a number of studies suggested long-term ocean warming due to climate change made the heat wave stronger than it otherwise would have been.

Cold water rising along the coast from the ocean depths has held the warmer water offshore thus far, but experts said the chilled surge usually peters out in the fall. The heat wave in the water could move onshore and affect coastal temperatures if that happens, the statement said.

Officials also noted the marine heat wave is still new enough to break up if the weather shifts.

"It looks bad, but it could also go away pretty quickly if the unusually persistent weather patterns that caused it change," wrote Nate Mantua, a research scientist with the NOAA.

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