A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters by Farallon Institute collaborator Chelle Gentemann, with FI scientist Marisol García-Reyes, describes the sea surface temperatures and wind characteristics along the U.S. West Coast during the 2014-2016 marine heat wave event, which was related to the heat wave event that took place in the Gulf of Alaska ("The Blob"). The nearshore warming in the California Current Ecosystem (along the coast of Washington-Oregon-California) began a few months following the development of the offshore Blob (January 2014) and ended in September 2016. Warm waters were periodically dispersed each spring with the onset of the upwelling season, though the warm water temperatures quickly returned when winds calmed. This study also demonstrated that during these three years, the upwelling season was somewhat weakened and its timing shifted, which can have serious consequences for biological communities in this ecosystem.
Results from this study were covered in an online National Geographic article on February 2, 2017.