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Warming Gulf of Maine Imperils Lobster, Fish Catch

Sep 3, 2014

AP: Imagine Cape Cod without cod. Maine without lobster. The region's famous rocky beaches invisible, obscured by constant high waters. It's already starting to happen. The culprit is the warming seas — and in particular the Gulf of Maine, whose waters are heating up faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans, scientists say.

Until 2004, Gulf temperatures were increasing by about 0.05 degrees per year since 1982, about in line with worldwide trends, said Andy Pershing, chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the man behind the 99 percent figure. But then the pace accelerated to about a half-degree per year — nearly 10 times faster.

Scientists are not certain why. The rest of the oceans are also warming, albeit not as fast, as increased carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to rising temperatures, Pershing said.