Hot and dry weather on the west coast and frigid conditions on the east coast have had the scientists baffled. While initially, most scientists were of the opinion that the conditions may be due to melting in the arctic, but a new study suggests that it is due to the warming in the Pacific Ocean. There has been a large blob of warm water that has been on the west coast for the past 18 months.
While most scientists around the world still believe that global warming has upset the “Polar Vortex”, the group in Seattle still does not put the blame on global warming. The blob of water stretches from Alaska to Mexico and is 7 degrees warmer than usual.
This development has raised the temperature of the surrounding areas as well, up to 3.6 degrees. The climatic models predict that the case would remain the same for the rest of the year.
The changes have not been limited to land alone, as the marine ecosystem was found to be different as well. There has been an increase the in the number of sunfish and tropical species in the area, which has subsequently lowered the nutrient levels causing mass starvation of seabirds.
Additionally, this has changed the type of microorganisms that can survive in this type of water as well. February had the most prominent temperature spike in the past 30 years.
The winds have been responsible to carry this effect from the shores to the North West by humidifying onshore flows. The results of this effect could be seen in last year’s muggy summers and the biggest wildfire the state has seen.
A climate scientist at University of Washington, Nick Bond, commented that the group does not say that this is the only reason, but they still believe that it is at least a secondary cause. Another scientist from the same university, Dennis Hartmann, published his own research recently saying that the cause of this blob lies towards the south side of the equatorial pacific, near New Guinea.