The North Pacific Blob, a marine heatwave that began in late 2013 and continued through 2015, was the largest and longest-lasting marine heatwave on record.
The North Pacific Blob, a marine heatwave that began in late 2013 and continued through 2015, was the largest and longest-lasting marine heatwave on record. A new study using data collected by elephant seals reveals that in addition to the well documented surface warming, deeper warm-water anomalies associated with the Blob were much more extensive than previously reported.
The new findings were reported by a team of biologists and ocean scientists at UC Santa Cruz in a paper published July 4 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.
“The elephant seals collect data in different locations than existing oceanographic platforms,” explained senior author Christopher Edwards, a professor of ocean sciences at UC Santa Cruz. “This is an underutilized dataset that can inform us about important oceanographic processes, as well as helping biologists understand the ecology of northern elephant seals.”
For decades, UCSC elephant seal researchers led by coauthor Daniel Costa, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director of the UCSC Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), have been using advanced tagging technology to track the months-long migrations of elephant seals in the North Pacific Ocean.
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