Townsend, Thomas quoted in Press Herald article on Gulf of Maine water temperatures
University of Maine oceanography professors David Townsend and Andrew Thomas were quoted in a Portland Press Herald article titled, “Deep current of record-breaking warm water causes concerns for the Gulf of Maine.” Canadian scientists have measured record-breaking temperatures in the deep water flowing into the Gulf of Maine, prompting concerns about effects on marine life, according to the article. Maine-based researchers said they also have been seeing indications the Gulf has been filling with unusually warm water in recent months, though it remains unclear exactly when the influx began and what the effects will be, the article states. Townsend said the likely culprit is “reduced intensity of the Gulf Stream, increased frequency of warm core rings off New England and Nova Scotia, and Arctic melt water flows from the north.” Since the event doesn’t involve surface waters, it isn’t connected to local air temperatures, he said, but rather to global warming-driven changes to ocean currents. Thomas said the Gulf Stream appeared to be farther north than usual. “What water is sitting right off the entrance of the Gulf of Maine at a given time is really decided by a battle between warm slope water coming from farther south and cold slope water coming down the Scotian Shelf, and whoever wins that battle is going to get into the Northeast Channel and the Gulf,” he said. The Sun Journal also published the article.