Jul 12, 2016

The Pacific 'Blob' Is Back From the Dead; In Fact, It Never Left

Pacific Ocean
by
Eric Chaney
,
The Weather Channel
This sea surface temperature anomaly graphic shows both the blob and El Nino as they were in September of 2015. Photo: NOAA
This sea surface temperature anomaly graphic shows both the blob and El Nino as they were in September of 2015. Photo: NOAA

Two climatological features that have loomed large over the Pacific Ocean for the past year have both been declared dead, but new research shows that one of them is still lurking in the ocean depths and still affecting marine ecosystems.  

Clifford Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, wrote off The Blob, a persistent patch of unusually warm water in the northern Pacific, back in December 2015.

...

But now, new research indicates that The Blob lives again - in fact, it was never dead to begin with. According to measurements taken by the Canadian Coast Guard, it simply slipped quietly beneath the waves.

"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],” Ian Perry, senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, told the CBC