The one common element in recent weather has been oddness. The West Coast has been warm and parched; the East Coast has been cold and snowed under. Fish are swimming into new waters, and hungry seals are washing up on California beaches
Scientists say a warm patch of water in the Pacific Ocean known as 'the blob' may be causing this year's weird weather. Here, a plot shows how much warmer the waters were off the coast of Washington in April 2014 compared to the period between 1981 and 2010.
A long-lived patch of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal
, is part of what's wreaking much of this mayhem, according to two University of Washington papers to appear in Geophysical Research Letters
, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
"In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn't cool off as much as it usually did
, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year," said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Bond coined the term "the blob" last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington's state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water - 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep - had contributed to Washington's mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.
Ten months later, the blob is still off our shores, now squished up against the coast and extending about 1,000 miles offshore from Mexico up through Alaska, with water about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal
. Bond says all the models point to it continuing through the end of this year.
The new study explores the blob's origins. It finds that it relates to a persistent high-pressure ridge that caused a calmer ocean during the past two winters, so less heat was lost to cold air above. The warmer temperatures we see now aren't due to more heating, but less winter cooling.
Co-authors on the paper are Meghan Cronin at NOAA in Seattle and a UW affiliate professor of oceanography, Nate Mantua at NOAA in Santa Cruz and Howard Freeland at Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
© NOAA National Climate Data Center
The warm blob earlier this week, now squished up against the West Coast. The scale bar is in degrees Celsius (each increment is 1.8 F)
The authors look at how the blob is affecting West Coast marine life. They find 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.
This 'warm anomaly' could be attributed to increased quantities of CO2, methane outgassing
and heat are coming up from below
, i.e. passing up through the oceans from within the planet, heating
and acidifying the planet's oceans.
There has been a sharp rise in observable volcanic activity
on our planet's surface in recent times. However, the vast majority of the planet's volcanoes are located underwater
The weather is getting more weird, more extreme
We are also seeing an increasing number of bizarre
(perhaps even mutated species), previously unknown
and mysterious creatures
being discovered recently, together with increases in abnormal animal and marine behavior. All over the world such 'strange
' and 'unusual
' incidents are quickly becoming the norm, as are mass fish die offs
Are these more 'signs of the times'? If so, what do they mean?
The fact remains that there is a lot of hard evidence suggesting that, far from 'global warming', we're already in the process of entering a new ice age (which could end up being a lot bigger than the last one), accompanied by increasing cataclysmic activity such as major destructive storms, earthquakes, and volcanism, among other 'anomalous' goings-on all over the planet. So no wonder the animals are behaving strangely. Maybe they're trying to tell us something important. The question is, is anyone listening?
Creatures from the deep signal major Earth Changes: Is anyone paying attention?