Temperature anomaly found in Pacific Ocean

Large blob of unusually warm water found in ocean

Ryan Ducolon

A large temperature anomaly has been found on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, stretching from the Alaskan Pacific coast to the Mexican Pacific coast. The blob stretches 1,000 miles in each direction and runs 300 feet deep according to weather.com.

The Seattle area, including Auburn, has seen a large increase in temperature in the past four months; komonews.com said that the past four of six months set records for warmest months on record. Komonews.com also stated that the reason for this is a large and persistent pool of warm water that has been entrenched in the Pacific Ocean off our coast.

The temperature of the Pacific Ocean during April is usually 48-49 degrees Fahrenheit, said nodc.noaa.gov. The presence of the warm blob in the Pacific Ocean causes the temperature of the water to rise between two and seven degrees Fahrenheit.

The blob is affecting the wildlife in the Pacific Ocean. According to nwfsc.noaa.gov, the Pacific coast salmon and steelhead rely on cold-water nutrients, which they may have found recently in the narrow margin of cold water along the Northwest coast. If the warmth continues or expands, Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead could suffer in coming years.

Nwfsc.noaa.gov stated that, while some animals are being negatively impacted by the blob, not all of the animals are. Marine animals, such as sardines and albacore tuna often thrive in warmer conditions.

According to sciencedaily.com, the researchers have found fish sightings in unusual places, supporting recent reports that west coast marine ecosystems are suffering and the food web is being disrupted by warm, less nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean water.

Outside of the ocean, the blob is to blame for the mild winter weather in Washington, according to Washington.edu, and it might signal a warmer summer… As air passes over warm water and reaches the coast it brings more heat and less snow.

Sciencedaily.com stated that the blob is caused by a decadal-scale pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean linked with changes in the North pacific, called the North Pacific mode, that sent atmospheric waves snaking along the globe to bring warm and dry air to the west coast and very cold, west air to the central and eastern states.