Marine Heat Wave Dubbed ‘Blob’ Resurges in Pacific; Mass Deaths of Sea Life Feared
Andrew Freedman, Lauren Tierney, The Washington Post
Across vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean extending from Hawaii north to the shores of Alaska, and southeast to near California, a new marine heat wave is underway. This event is widely referred to as “The Blob Part Two,” or just another “Blob.” The first event, which took place from 2014 through 2016, earned that odd moniker based on its bold red appearance on maps of ocean surface temperatures.
The new incarnation already has caused coral bleaching in the Hawaiian islands and may be tied to strandings of marine mammals along the California coast. If it intensifies and seeps into deeper waters, this marine heat wave could favor another drought in California by altering the jet stream flowing across the Pacific.
But it’s not a sure bet that the current blob - a large splotch of red, resembling planetary acne, on global maps displaying sea surface temperature difference from normal - will have the staying power of the last event.