Water temperatures along the East Coast in the first half of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The unusually warm waters meant that spring algal blooms started at the earliest date yet –- in some areas, as early as February –- and were intense and long-lasting, the federal agency reports.
“Warming was pervasive showing above average temperatures in all parts of the ecosystem,” NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center wrote in an advisory.
In the Chesapeake Bay, scientists also reported unusually early algal blooms, Bay Daily reported back in June.
“This is all part of a trend,” Dr. Donald Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, said of the rising temperatures in June. “Nationally we have the warmest 12 month period... ever recorded in the United States. And we are breaking records continuously… It’s because of the greenhouse gas effect. We are emitting greenhouse gases and it’s warming the planet. That much the science is pretty clear on.”
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By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(Photo of barracuda at top from NOAA)