Scientists monitoring new marine heat wave off West Coast

California

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 11: People play in the water at Crissy Field East Beach on June 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing record temperatures for the third straight day. San Francisco shattered a record temp of 94 degrees from 1994 on Monday when the mercury hit 100 degrees. High temps will continue through Wednesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) – Federal scientists say they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the U.S. West Coast.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday the expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, and it resembles a similar heat wave that disrupted marine life five years ago.

It remains to be seen whether this heat wave dissipates more quickly than the last one.

NOAA Fisheries said the water has reached temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Scientists dubbed the last West Coast heat wave “the blob.” Its effects included poorer survival rates for young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they hunt closer to shore, and an algae bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming.

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