A huge patch of water in the Pacific Ocean along the North American coast warmed above typical seasonal temperatures in late 2013.
This increase, named the “Blob” after a 1958 horror film about an alien life form that grows as it consumes everything in its path, lasted an abnormally long period of time and decimated sea life, killing fish, birds, and many other marine animals, particularly in 2015 and 2016.
The Blob has made at least two appearances since then, and now, a team of scientists has pinpointed the systematic warming in the Pacific Ocean that spurred the Blob’s rise, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment. Their modeling reveals the source of the Blob is not natural climatic variation, but rather human influences.
A team of researchers led by Armineh Barkhordarian, an expert on atmospheric science and member of Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society,” demonstrated how the long-term warming pool has contributed to local marine heatwaves.
The most recent marine heatwave, which lasted from 2019 to 2021, caused water temperatures to…