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Northeast Waters a Hotspot for Global Warming

The waters off the coast of the northeastern U.S. are currently much warmer than normal, and have been warming at a dramatically accelerated rate.
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The waters off the coast of the northeastern U.S. are currently much warmer than normal, and have been warming at a dramatically accelerated rate.

You may have heard that global warming has slowed down in recent years. It's true, the rate of warming has been slightly less over the past fifteen years than in preceeding decades, if you look at atmospheric temperatures alone. But add in the ocean, and it's a different story altogether.

There, warming seems to be proceeding apace, and then some. Recent studies have found warming of the deep ocean, changes in major ocean circulation patterns, and now, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have evidence that, over the past ten to fifteen years, the waters off the northeast coast of the U.S. have been warming at fifteen times the rate of the past century.

In addition to explaining where any missing heat might be found (the ocean absorbs an estimated ninety percent, anyway), these studies have serious implications for New England's fisheries, as well as our weather and sea level rise along our coasts.

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