File - In this Sept. 14, 2017, file photo, salmon circle just below the surface inside a lock where they joined boats heading from salt water Shilshole Bay into fresh water Salmon Bay at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. Federal scientists say they're monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the West Coast. Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, the expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, and it resembles a similar heatwave that disrupted marine life five years ago. It remains to be seen whether this heat wave will linger or dissipate more quickly than the last one. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Scientists monitoring new marine heat wave off West Coast

September 05, 2019 - 2:20 pm

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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