2014-12-14. Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine.

posted Dec 16, 2014, 12:12 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Dec 16, 2014, 12:15 PM ]
By Michael Wines and Jess Bidgood, The New York Times. For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 7 & Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt:  In the vast gulf that arcs from Massachusetts’s shores to Canada’s Bay of Fundy, cod was once king. It paid for fishermen’s boats, fed their families and put their children through college. In one halcyon year in the mid-1980s, the codfish catch reached 25,000 tons. Today, the cod population has collapsed. ...The Gulf of Maine’s waters are warming — faster than almost any ocean waters on earth, scientists say — and fish are voting with their fins for cooler places to live. That is upending an ecosystem and the fishing industry that depends on it. ...In decades past, the gulf had warmed on average by about one degree every 21 years. In the last decade, the average has been one degree every two years. “What we’re experiencing is a warming that very few ocean ecosystems have ever experienced,” said Andrew J. Pershing, the chief scientific officer for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute here.  ...the latest warming is not unprecedented. Weather records document a steady, if slow warming of the region’s waters since the 1850s, and a 50- to-70-year climatic cycle set off unusual ocean warming in the 1950s. A similar cycle is believed to be heating up the northwest Atlantic today. But scientists say those cyclical effects are now being turbocharged by human-caused climate change....  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/15/us/waters-warm-in-gulf-of-maine-and-cod-catch-ebbs.html.