Early data suggest 2021 was one of the hottest years on record in Gulf of Maine

Maine's Wells Beach at low tide after a nor'easter in October 2021.

Maine’s Wells Beach at low tide after a nor’easter in October 2021. (Susan Sharon/Maine Public)

Surface water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine this fall hit new seasonal highs, and it looks like 2021 overall will be one of the hottest ever in the gulf.

Researchers at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said that this fall, temperatures in the gulf ran more than four degrees Fahrenheit above the historical norm.

“It is stunning in terms of the magnitude of how far above even our past experience this fall stands out,” said GMRI scientist Kathy Mills. She said that over the last decade the gulf has entered a temperature “regime shift” thanks in part to persistent changes in long-standing ocean current patterns that are in turn driven by global warming.

“We’re essentially turning up the dial on the warm water (flowing into the Gulf) and turning down the cold, resulting in hotter temperatures in the Gulf of Maine since 2010,” Mills said.

Read the rest of this story at MainePublic.org.