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

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 09 March 2018



Offshore Conditions "Normalizing"


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."


"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


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




News from Nature


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News



All High Sierra News





2018 NOAA West Coast Fisheries Report history news of the Blob


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