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The fog banks that reside off the coast of Northern California result from this same process occurring on a large scale. The warm air that sits above the expanse of the Pacific Ocean is humid, a result of moisture evaporating from long unobstructed exposure to the tropical sun. As the air moves from the warmer climates of the western Pacific toward the continental United States, it’s cooled by the progressively colder water. The newly cooled air pushes that moisture content out to condense on whatever particle is suspended in the air – often salt or other minerals kicked up by ocean spray. This forms the thick fog offshore, what is referred to as the ‘marine layer’.
Sea surface temperatures show cold water near-shore pushing warm water away from the coast as a result of upwelling
The Blob is a large mass of relatively warm water in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of North America. It was first detected in late 2013 and continued to spread throughout 2014 and 2015.
The Blob was first detected in the autumn of 2013 and the early months of 2014 by Nicholas Bond of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean of the University of Washington, and his colleagues, when a large circular body of sea-water did not cool as expected and remained much warmer than the average normal temperatures for that location and season.
Initially the Blob was reported as being 500 miles (800 km) wide and 300 feet (91 m) deep. It expanded and reached the size 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long, 1,000 miles (1,600 km) wide and 300 feet (91 m) deep, in the month of June 2014 when the term "The Blob" was coined. The Blob now hugs the coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska and beyond, over a stretch of 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and more, and has formed three distinct patches, the first, off the coast of Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California, a region known to oceanographers as the Coastal Upwelling Domain; the second off Alaska and in the Bering Sea; and the third and smallest, off Southern California and Mexico.
In February 2014, the temperature of the Blob was around 2.5 °C (4.5 °F) warmer than what was usual for the time of year.
A NOAA scientist noted in September 2014, based on ocean temperature records, that the North Pacific Ocean had not previously experienced temperatures so warm since climatologists began taking recordings.
The reason for the phenomenon is unclear. Some experts consider that the wedge of warm water portends a cyclical change with the surface waters of the mid-latitude Pacific Ocean flipping from a cold phase to a warm phase in a cycle known as the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). This poorly-understood change happens at irregular intervals of years or decades. During a warm phase, the west Pacific becomes cooler and part of the eastern ocean warms; during the cool phase, these changes reverse. Scientists believe a cold phase started in the late 1990s and the arrival of the Blob may be the start of the next warm phase. The PDO phases may also be related to the likelihood of El Nino events.
NASA climatologist William Patzert predicts that if the PDO is at work here, there will be widespread climatological consequences and southern California and the American South may be in for a period of high precipitation, with an increase in the rate of global warming. Another climatologist, Matt Newman of the University of Colorado, does not think the Blob fits the pattern of a shift in the PDO. He believes the unusually warm water is due to the persistent area of high pressure stationary over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Dan Cayan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is unsure about the ultimate cause of the phenomenon, but states "there's no doubt that this anomaly in sea surface temperature is very meaningful"
Sea surface temperature anomalies are a physical indicator which adversely affect the zooplankton (mainly copepods) in the Northeast Pacific and specifically in the Coastal Upwelling Domain. Warm waters are much less nutrient-rich than the cold upwelling waters which were the norm till recently off the Pacific Coast. This results in reduced phytoplankton productivity with knock on effects on the zooplankton which feed on it and the higher levels of the food chain.
The fog hits the impassable wall of Redwood trees that are hundreds of feet tall. Moisture collecting on leaves and branches falls like rain to the forest floor; it’s quite literally a rainforest microclimate surrounded by an arid region.
However as the trees can grow to over 350 feet tall, the Redwoods need a special method to overcome gravity in order to pull water all the way up from their base. The water remaining on the leaf that doesn’t fall to the forest floor can be absorbed through the leaf surface and moved down the tree from above. This top-down process helps pull water up the extreme heights of the trunk from below like a siphon; but if the water ceases from above then an air pocket forms in the trunk, killing the tree.
originally posted by: Sookiechacha
The "June Gloom" has been a constant here in Southern California.
originally posted by: Phage
The warm anomaly off of the California coast was pretty much gone by the end of 2015.
No sign of it now.
And no, it wasn't caused by the Fukushima disaster.