2018 NOAA WEST COAST FISHERIES REPORT, & History of the Blob


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 09 March 2018

 

OCEAN NEWS
NORTHEAST PACIFIC OCEAN STATUS

Offshore Conditions "Normalizing"

NOAA WEST COAST FISHERIES REPORT

Profound Offshore Threats Diminished, Onshore Threats & Weather Instabilities Growing

West Coast waters returning to normal but salmon catches lagging,
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, March 9, 2018.

"Ocean conditions off most of the U.S. West Coast are returning roughly to average, after an extreme marine heat wave from about 2014 to 2016 disrupted the California Current Ecosystem and shifted many species beyond their traditional range."

REPORT, PDF

"There were no mass seabird mortality events"

"Feeding conditions have improved for California sea lions and seabirds that experienced mass die-offs caused by shifts in their prey during the Blob."

"Plankton species, the foundation of the marine food web, have shifted back slightly toward fat-rich, cool-water species that improve the growth and survival of salmon and other fish."

"...surveys have found fewer juvenile salmon, and consequently adult salmon returns will likely remain depressed for a few years until successive generations benefit from improving ocean conditions."

"Severe low-oxygen conditions in the ocean water spanned the Oregon Coast from July to September 2017, causing die-offs of crabs and other species."

"The tracking revealed "a climate system still in transition in 2017," as surface ocean conditions return to near normal. Deeper water remained unusually warm, especially in the northern part of the California Current. Warm-water species, such as leaner plankton species often associated with subtropical waters, have lingered in these more-northern zones."

NOAA West Coast Fisheries

 

The Takeaway

The real takeaway is that although the profound onshore-offshore "heat wave" of 2014-2016 has ended, the long-term rate of change has only slightly slowed from its drough-years acceleration. The accelerated rate of ocean and atmospheric "disruption" we experienced during this last period of extreme drought sits along the long-term trajectory of the deepening warming & drying, "aridification," we are undoubtedly, obviously experiencing.

It is debatable if we are actually out of the "drought," at all, or have just experienced an abberant tropical "warm & very wet" Winter (2016-17) in the face of steadily declining snowfall over ever shortening Winters during the last thirty years.

So far this Fall and Winter we have experienced a range of wild extremes. Honestly, absolutely nothing would surprise me right now, but I fully expect it to ridge-up, warm-up, and dry-up to begin the thaw early, independent of the next few "moves" our very unstable (as of March 9) atmosphere makes.

 

Sea Surface Temperatures

Tracking the Blob

 

 

History of the Blob

Blob Changing Weather Patterns
May 2015

 

Blob is Dead
Feb 2016

 

Blob-Weather
April 2017

 

The Blob Returneth?
Nov 2017

 

Human Land, Sea, & Air Attack on Ecosystems
Degrading California Environment

 

 

The "New Normal" is here, the oceans will be deeply changed.

 

 

2018 Oceans, Fish, Water, & Ice News

 

 

 

March 2018 News of Man & Nature

 

 

 

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2018 NOAA West Coast Fisheries Report history news of the Blob

 

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