An anomaly or a new norm, the researchers carefully monitor the persistent hot water in the northeastern Pacific and what this means for salmon.
In the last two months, a high-rise ridge that has developed through the coastal zone of BK led to a prolonged warm summer. The severe storm season is delayed and the water is two to three degrees warmer.
Richard Dewey, associate director of science at Ocean Networks Canada and the University of Victoria, closely watches approximately 2,000 miles of an unusually warm area that first appeared in the autumn of 2013 and became much more noticeable in the spring of 2014. Researchers introduced the term "spots".
"This event woke us up for what's happening here. Atmosphere, storms and stream flows are collected and we get weaker winds over the bay, so do not mix the cold water and things stay warm, "Dewey said.
Now they pay attention. By 2017, oceanographers began to see that the warmth of the mass is scattered in depth, but this year it is back in the northeast of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.
"Maybe that's the trend. Perhaps this is the way climate change will affect our back yard, but we still do not know it, "Dewey said.
Ocean Networks Canada has tools at the bottom and near the ocean. They did not pick up the 2014 block of their sensor until months later, so researchers surveyed satellite data and sea surface temperature maps for the Alaska Bay.
Impact on salmon
Ocean heating also affects the temperature of fresh water.
Sue Grant is the leading country in the Salmon Program for Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Its role is to integrate what we know about salmon and its ecosystems. Oceanographers and fresh water researchers see the relationship between stains and warming in rivers and streams.
"The stain itself is an oceanographic phenomenon, but it is due to the connection with the atmosphere and this has consequences in fresh water," Grant said.
Salmon are anadromous, freshwater and marine life stages, and they experience a warmer temperature in both habitats. Grant said the effects of warm spots for 2014 and 2015 varied in salmon stocks in BK. and the territory of Yukon.
"The responses are mixed, although some of our southern stocks and some of our northern companies do not do that well this year." Last year we watched inferior the average surviving quantities of salmon stocks in Fraser Watershed in different species and through this we have seen Fraser's survival below average, and there are other examples in the north, "she said.
Grant uses a marathon analog to describe what temperatures make 3-5 degrees Celsius over the salmon season.
If she has to run a marathon at 50 degrees Celsius, she may not survive because 50-60 degrees Celsius is outside its optimum temperature range. Salmon also has an optimal temperature range, and when it attempts to migrate upward during summer rides, it can have a negative effect on their migration.
Warmer than average water temperature also affects the level of nutrients.
When the ecosystem shifts in 2014-2015, the Alaska surface layer in the bay is weaker in nutrients. Ocean Networks Canada has seen that cold-water species requiring nutrient-rich environments are less widespread, whereas warm-water species that could adapt to low nutritional conditions tend to dominate.
"When the salmon is there in the bay and along the coast, eating under these conditions they returned in 2016-17, a little less than usual," said Dewey.
"The numbers I've seen say these warm conditions can lead to smaller fish sizes so there's some impact."
Both Grant and Dewey say they pay attention but it's too early to make forecasts and what does 2018 hot salmon spots mean.
However, they can take the data from the past few years – the salmon's responses to freshwater warming and marine ecosystems – and see if there is a model and what it could mean for the future of salmon stocks.