Profound And Sudden Changes In the Gulf of Maine As Once Stable Ecosystems Break Down
|Warming waters inhibit reproduction and increase mortality|
Humans’ best efforts at managing the rapid depletion of New England cod fisheries has fallen short as populations of the once plentiful species continue to collapse. According to a new report from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the precipitous decline in cod numbers in the fisheries is due to a marine warming event unprecedented for its scale and speed. Quoted in the Washington Post, lead author Andrew Pershing said that the North Atlantic area had – over the previous decade – warmed faster than any other marine ecosystem on the planet.
The research was also conducted by NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.
The average surface temperature of the world’s ocean has increased steadily over the last century. The rate of increase is accelerating. In addition to challenges afflicting West Coast marine populations, the North Sea has experienced similar rapid warming over the past decade, leading to a major of the haddock population in that body of water as well.
The degree to which commercial fish populations successfully migrate north remains to be seen, but one this is certain. There is only so far they can go before there is no where left to hide.
According to virtually every scientist not on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry, we are only at the beginning of the warming period.