Climate change has been taking a toll on different states and cities in the United States. After wildfires and increasing floods, scientists have reported an unusual increase in the temperature of water surrounding the Puget Sound along the northwestern coast of Washington state.
Scientists further believe that warm water, dubbed the Blob, came from the Pacific Ocean to the Puget Sound. The increased temperature of the surrounding water has further warmed up the climate in the area. Scientists say that the unusually warm Sound water is a result of heat coming off the Blob and the persistent drought conditions that have persisted in the state this summer.
Researchers say that the Blob also threatens marine life around the Sound. According to Washington Department of Ecology monitoring records, the increased temperature of the water has already resulted in a number of threats to marine life, including algae bloom, excessive closure of shellfish and reduction in the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.
In addition, researchers fear that the warming water does not provide a suitable environment for cold-water loving creatures to survive, including the salmon. “We're measuring water temperatures in the Sound 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal from our past 25 years of record keeping," Christopher Krembs, a senior oceanographer, said. “Warm water can be seen from all around.”
A team of scientists is currently looking more into the Blob and the potentially harmful conditions it may cause. The team believes that understanding the combined effect of the weather and the Blob will help prepare Washington better to fight climate change. In addition, the scientists say that an association between different scientific agencies will help monitor and control the marine life situation better.
“Eliminating the Blob from the Puget Sound is a tough challenge as the drought is causing too much low estuarine circulation,” says surface water hydrologist Jim Shedd. Without sufficient circulation, the Blob or whatever type of element is placed in the Sound will have to stay around.”