Northeast Shelf sea surface temperatures reach 150-year high

By on May 6, 2013
Oceans & Coasts News

Sea surface temperatures recorded in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem last year were the highest recorded in 150 years, the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center has reported.

The temperatures of the Northeast Shelf, which is located in the Northwest Atlantic, were based on shipboard measurements that have been recorded since 1854 and modern satellite remote-sensing data.

The temperature increased to 14 degrees Celsius in 2012, which was the largest spike in the area’s recorded history and one of only five times where the temperature has increased by more than 1 degree Celsius from the previous year.

The temperature increases have been linked to the migration of various fish and shellfish populations. These migrations could have wide-ranging impacts on the region’s ecosystem.

Image: Graph showing the distribution of Atlantic Cod in the Northeast Shelf from 2008-2012 (Credit: NOAA)


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