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SOURCE: Washington Post

DATE: August 31, 2018

SNIP: Sea surface temperatures in the vast Gulf of Maine hit a near-record high of 68.93 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 8, part of what scientists called a month-long “marine heat wave” in the normally chilly waters that are home to everything from lobsters to whales.

In some parts of the gulf, surface temperatures soared to nearly 11 degrees warmer than normal.

Using satellite data, scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said that over the past 30 years, the waters there have warmed at a rate more than three times the global average. Over the past 15 years, it has warmed at seven times that average.

“We’ve set 10 daily temperature records this summer, after setting 18 this winter,” Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, said, adding that the institute “had to add new colors to our temperature illustrations to reflect just how warm the Gulf of Maine has been this year.”

Concerns about marine heat waves have been rising in recent years, in the wake of the widespread bleaching and death of corals caused by similar events in the globe’s tropical belt.