Nov 2, 2015

The Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron

Mexico
Alaska
Southern California, CA
USA
by
John Schwartz
,
New York Times
Bleached coral in American Samoa earlier this year. Photo: Catlin Seaview Survey
Bleached coral in American Samoa earlier this year. Photo: Catlin Seaview Survey

At the moment, the world’s largest ocean is a troublesome place, creating storms and causing problems for people and marine life across the Pacific Rim and beyond. A partial list includes the strong El Niño system that has formed along the Equator, and another unusually persistent zone of warm water that has been sitting off the North American coast, wryly called “the Blob.” And a longer-term cycle of heating and cooling known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation may be switching from a cooling phase to a warming phase. On top of all that is the grinding progress of climate change...