British Colombia Heat Wave Continuing: The Blob Hides in the Deep

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 18 September 2018


British Colombia Heat Wave Continuing

The Blob hides in the deep,
AGU, September 13, 2018.


BC Heatwave
“A marine heatwave began more than four years ago and new research suggests it won’t be disappearing anytime soon.”

The Blob
Marine "...heatwaves are getting more intense and more frequent with a changing climate. Over the fall and winter of 2013 and 2014, satellites detected above normal temperatures in the surface waters of the northeast Pacific. At its peak, the mass of warm water—nicknamed “The Blob”—had water temperatures up to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than normal and covered an area larger than Australia."

Hidden Heat
"Scientists repeatedly thought the marine heatwave was abating when satellite observations of sea surface temperatures moderated after winter storms.”

“But satellites cannot measure temperatures below the surface."

New View
"...combined four separate time series from oceanographic monitoring programs along the coast of British Columbia."

Bifurcated Waters

Credit for this fine graphic to Jonathan Kellogg, Hakai

History of Marine Heat Waves
"All together, there is compelling evidence that (marine) heatwaves have occurred on this coast before and may have contributed to ecological shifts in the past.”

Ecological Impact

Hard Time for Sockeye Salmon
“There’s now a lot of evidence supporting salmon’s dietary shift during these warm periods.”

“Warmer waters are preferred by a species of copepod that is not as rich in nutrients and fats that the young salmon need. This “junk food” diet likely leads to increased juvenile salmon mortality as they make their way to the ocean.”

“Mounting data suggests that warm anomalies contributed to the fishery collapse through these food web effects. Heatwave events occurred following the major El Niños in the early 1980s and the late 1990s, around the times that regulators significantly reduced the catch and closed the fishery.”

Cool Water Wishes
“...hoping strong storms this winter will bring back the nutrient-rich cool waters of the northeast Pacific.”


The Blob

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

Climate News: The Blob Returneth? A Rerun of Drought Pattern?

What Happened? Retrospective View of The Blob


The Weather Page

El Nino-La Nina, ENSO, Blob Reference Information

Real Time Sea Surface Temperatures


Recently, in the Ocean

Scripps Pier Records Highest Ocean Temperature in its 102-year History

Last Massive El Nino Foreshadows Magnitude of Next

El Nino & La Nina Research Reveals Deep Relationships



Carbon Calculations Wrong? More CO2 into Oceans than Previously Predicted?




Hakai Institute
Conducting long-term scientific research at remote locations on the coastal margin of British Columbia, Canada.

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