It’s alive! ‘The blob’ lingers at new depth, scientists say

The blob's heat signature on the surface of the Northeast Pacific has diminished over the last six months, but new findings suggest it's sitting deeper below the surface. Photo by NOAA.

The blob’s heat signature on the surface of the Northeast Pacific has diminished over the last six months, but new findings suggest it’s sitting deeper below the surface. Photo by NOAA.

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.

Marine wildlife, including Pacific salmon, have suffered as a result of what’s been dubbed a ‘marine heatwave’.

Read the full article on CBC News

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About Jon Hernandez

Jon Hernandez is a Journalist, Tree Planter, and current student at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from UBC Vancouver, and has worked for such publications as The Region and Sustainability Television. View all posts by Jon Hernandez

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