“The Blob” Could Be Causing Severe West Coast Drought


Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The U.S. west coast is experiencing the worst drought ever, and it could be caused by a mysterious Pacific Ocean “warm blob”. That’s according to a new study.

The study said a blob was found in the ocean, with temperatures that are two to seven degrees higher than the temperature of the surrounding water. It’s causing mayhem among the West Coast marine ecosystem, that’s making other species look for refuge somewhere else.

The blob is about 1,000 miles offshore, from Alaska to Mexico and is about 300 feet deep.

A University of Washington study believes a high-pressure ridge is causing the blob and trapping heat in the water. Climate scientist Dr. Nick Bond is the one who coined the area “The blob”.

According to researchers, it may be the reason Washington state had a mild 2014 winter and could bring a warmer summer.

Scientists are not sure when it formed or for how long it’ll stick around, but scientists are looking at its effects.

As air goes over the warmer water and hits the coasts, more heat is experienced and less snow is seen. This, scientists say, is the reason Washington, Oregon and California are seeing some nasty drought conditions. They also said it could be responsible for the colder East coast temperatures.

The study looked at the blob and its effect on the marine lie.

Fish have been located in places where they typically are but the warmer water is disturbing the food web because it’s not loaded with nutrients.

The report is echoing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s report that said the warmer West Coast waters are not near as biologically productive due to the increased warmth.

The report said the phenomenon probably wasn’t a result of global warming but is just a signal of comparable weather still to come.

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Posted by on Apr 12 2015. Filed under Featured, New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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