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Dramatic Changes in Coastal Water Temperatures over the Past 30 Years

July 2, 2013; 11:33 AM ET

New research from Stony Brook University (NY) shows that changes in coastal ocean Temperatures may be much more extreme than what global averages indicate.

The research team, led by Dr. Hannes Baumann, mapped the differences in how the world's coastlines are experiencing climate change over the past 30 years.

The researchers found that the coastal waters in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans have warmed three times higher than the global average.

On the other hand, the South American Pacific coastal waters have been getting cooler over the last few decades. However, this cooling seems to be in line with global climate change predictions that forecast increases in coastal upwelling in this region of the world.

Upwelling is a process that brings cold water from the deep ocean to the coast.

Excerpt below is from the Stony Brook News release.....

"The world is getting flatter," said Baumann. "Coastal waters at high (cold) latitudes warm much faster than at low (warm) latitudes, hence the majority of the world's coastal temperature gradients are getting shallower. This could cause dramatic reorganization of organisms and ecosystems, from small plankton communities to larger fish populations."


This paper was published in the June 18 edition of Public Library of Science.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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