Things are not going too well for Seattle it seems as the warm ocean blob moves to Puget Sound. You may remember that back in 2013, scientists had found a warm blob on the Pacific Ocean that heated the waters in an around it by up to seven degrees.
This giant blob (dubbed so due to its red color that can be easily observed on weather maps) has been moving for two straight years between Alaska and Mexico, unnaturally warming the waters and causing huge amounts of environmental damage.
Prior to the announcing that the blob would enter Puget Sound waters, the authorities in the area had expected that this summer would reach unusually high temperatures and an unprecedented level of dryness which they attributed to the worsening effects of global warming. However, with the coming of the blob, water temperatures in the area raised by a whole four degrees in some areas.
But hold on, it might get even worse.
There’s something that will soon heat the waters in the sound of Washington even worse. The developing El Niño which will soon hit the area is said to be unusually strong. So, this is really dire situation for the canal complex as well as for the whole ecosystem of Washington, and could develop strange weather systems over its capital, Seattle.
Measurements show that not only the surface of the water is affected by this continuous warming, but the deep sea temperatures are increasing. This automatically drains the waters of oxygen and causes unfathomable die-offs in sea-dwelling creatures. There are already shellfish closures confirmed which automatically increase the toxicity of the water, since shellfish are responsible for much of the natural filtering of the water. This has spurred the appearance of multiple types of toxic algae. There are also unconfirmed reports of huge amounts of fish dying probably due to intoxication.
The recent reports of salmon washing up on the shores in increasingly big numbers are worrying if not downright scary. The temperatures in the area where the El Niño is currently forming (East Pacific in the equatorial area) are at the highest point they’ve been for close to 17 years, when the devastating El Niño of `97-98 broke most of the records when it comes to this specific phenomenon.
Still, the clearest effects of the rise in temperatures are not the ones that are seen now in the northwestern state, but those that will come along in winter, when there will probably much less snow than people are used to.
Image source: mynorthwest.com