Friday, December 7, 2018

Gulf of Maine sees 3rd warmest year on record as monitoring programs wither

The Gulf of Maine -- already the second fastest warming part of the world's oceans -- just saw the third warmest year on the 37-year long satellite record, with average sea surface temperatures reaching levels only seen in 2012 and 2016. As I reported in yesterday's Portland Press Herald, researchers saw unpleasant effects on puffin chicks, sea turtles, and the North Atlantic's biggest kelp forest.

Meanwhile, various federal and state initiatives to boost monitoring and research into the phenomenon have gone nowhere, while funding for several existing monitoring systems has withered, resulting in scientists having fewer means to track what is going on.

Details in the story, but for more background start with this six-part series on the warming crisis in the Gulf, and this piece from a year ago on the state of Maine's response.

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