by Michael Snyder
April 13, 2015
According to two University of Washington scientific
research papers that were recently released, a 1,000 mile stretch of
the Pacific Ocean has warmed up by several degrees, and nobody seems
to know why this is happening.
This giant "blob" of warm water was first observed in
late 2013, and it is playing havoc with our climate.
And since this
giant "blob" first showed up, fish and other sea creatures have been
dying in absolutely massive numbers.
So could there be a connection?
And what is going to happen if the Pacific
Ocean continues to warm up?
Could we potentially be facing the greatest
holocaust of sea life in the Pacific that anyone has ever
If so, what would that mean for the food
chain and for our food supply?
For a large portion of the Pacific Ocean to suddenly
start significantly heating up without any known explanation is a
really big deal.
The following information about this new research
the University of Washington…
"In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we
started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that
just didn't cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring
of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time
of year," said
Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based
for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint
research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and
Bond coined the term "the
blob" last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington's
He said the huge patch of water - 1,000
miles in each direction and 300 feet deep - had contributed to
Washington's mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.
It would be one thing if scientists knew why this was
happening and had an explanation for it.
But they don't.
In fact, according to the
Washington Post, they are calling this something that is
Scientists have been astonished at the extent and
especially the long-lasting nature of the warmth, with one NOAA
researcher saying, "when you see something like this that's
totally new you have opportunities to learn things you were
The following map comes from the NOAA, and it shows
what this giant "blob" looks like…
CBS News, ocean temperatures inside this blob have risen
anywhere from two to seven degrees Fahrenheit above
This warm blob, which is about 2 to 7 degrees
Fahrenheit (1 to 4 degrees Celsius) warmer than the usual
temperature for this region, means the winter air that crosses
over the Pacific Ocean wasn't cooled as much as it normally
That, in turn, spelled
warmer, dryer conditions for the West Coast.
Meanwhile, while this has been going on, scientists
have also been noticing that sea creatures in the Pacific have been
dying in record numbers.
In fact, last summer I wrote an article entitled "Why
are massive numbers of sea creatures dying along the west coast
right now?" Since then, things have continued to get even worse.
For instance, it was recently
reported that the number of sea lions washing up on Southern
California beaches is at an all-time record high…
A record 2,250 sea lions, mostly pups, have
washed up starving and stranded on Southern California beaches
so far this year, a worsening phenomenon blamed on warming seas
in the region that have disrupted the marine mammals' food
The latest tally, reported on Monday by the
National Marine Fisheries Service, is 20 times the level of
strandings averaged for the same three-month period over the
past decade and twice the number documented in 2013, the
previous worst winter season recorded for Southern California
And of course fish are being deeply affected as
Sardines have declined to their lowest level
in six decades, and National
Geographic says that a whole host of tiny fish species at the
bottom of the food chain are dying off rapidly…
Since the 1950s, researchers every year have
dropped nets 1,000 feet (300 meters) down to catalog marine life
many miles off California. Most track commercially important
species caught by the fishing industry.
Koslow tallies fish often credited with keeping marine
systems functioning soundly - tiny midwater bristlemouths, the
region's most abundant marine species, as well as viperfish,
hatchetfish, razor-mouthed dragonfish, and even minnow-like
All are significant parts of the seafood buffet
that supports life in the eastern Pacific, and all
are declining dramatically with the vertical rise of
"If it was a 10 percent change, it wouldn't have
been worth noting, but they've declined by 63 percent," says
Koslow, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
So if the bottom of the food chain is experiencing a
What is that going to mean for the rest of
the food chain in the Pacific Ocean?
In turn, what is that going to mean for the seafood
industry and for the price of seafood in our grocery stores?
Some really strange things are happening on the other
side of the Pacific right now as well.
Over in Japan, the media is buzzing about the recent
mass beaching of 150
melon-headed whales. A similar incident was
observed just six days before the
great earthquake and tsunami of
The following comes from the
The mass beaching of over 150 melon-headed whales
on Japan's shores has fueled fears of a repeat of a seemingly
unrelated event in the country - the devastating 2011 earthquake
and tsunami that killed over 18,000 people.
Despite a lack of scientific evidence linking the
two events, a flurry of online commentators have pointed to the
appearance of around 50 melon-headed whales - a species that is
a member of the dolphin family - on Japan's beaches six days
before the monster quake, which unleashed towering tsunami and
a nuclear disaster.
Very strange stuff.
For our entire lives, we have been able to take for
granted that our oceans would always be stable and healthy.
But now it appears that things may be changing...