The giant ocean ‘blob’ isn’t dead — yet.
The warm patch of water that stretches along the Pacific Coast is currently resting several hundred metres below the surface of the ocean, despite earlier reports that it had dissipated, according to new data.
“What we’re finding is that the upper waters are being mixed by the wind again and coming back to normal temperatures, but the residual effect of the blob is still there at about 150 to 200 metres [below the surface],” said Ian Perry, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The blob was widely pronounced dead earlier this year after satellite heat images no longer detected abnormally warm waters on the surface of the Pacific Coast. However, the imaging only read up to 40 metres below the surface, said Perry.
Vertical measurements conducted by the DFO’s Canadian Coast Guard vessels indicate the blob now lives deeper below the surface. According to Perry, at this depth the warm water continues to prevent the mixing of nutrients to the ocean’s upper-layer, which has harmed coastal ecosystems over the past two years.