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Warm Waters off Maine Point to Repeat of "Ocean Heat Wave"

Mar 21, 2016

Portland Press Herald: With the United States coming off the warmest winter on record, scientists are monitoring the Gulf of Maine for a possible repeat of an “ocean heat wave” four years ago that led to the destruction of clam populations, a collapse of Maine lobster prices, and incursions of warm-water species such as squid and blue crabs into Maine bays.

“We’re pretty much locked in now to 2012-like conditions,” said Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. “If you look at the temperatures right now in the Gulf of Maine, these are the temperatures you expect to see in mid-April, and it seems we’ve really stopped cooling.”

“If it’s like 2012, temperatures will hover for a few weeks and then really pick up,” he said.