A Warming Gulf of Maine Explained

04

NOVEMBER, 2019

Global Warming
Melting Arctic
Changing Ocean Circulation

It is common knowledge that, over the course of the last decade, the oceans have been warming. During that time, the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than 99% of the global ocean. This is unnerving to those who live, work or vacation in Maine, or to anyone who is following climate change. One question persists: Why is the Gulf of Maine, in particular, warming so rapidly?

The answer is complicated, but can be distilled to three essential factors:

  1. Anthropogenic (human-made) Global Warming
  2. A Melting Arctic
  3. Changing Ocean Circulation

This rapid change has impacts big and small—from the increase of harmful algae blooms, to ramped growth of invasive species populations, and change in normal species population range that we find in Maine waters—even at the local level in Quahog Bay.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, our partner in progressing Maine’s oyster aquaculture industry created an educational video called Gulf of Maine, Explained that can be watched below. Their Chief Scientist, Dr. Andrew Pershing, details how these factors, individually and working in tandem, have led to a nearly unparalleled rate of warming in our local waters, and what this means for our future.

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