The blob

Increase in water temperature

You have heard the phrase "reality is stranger than fiction" thousands of times. This occurs when a large number of schools of fish move to the north of the Pacific Ocean and thousands of seals are left starving off the coast of California. A panorama that is caused by alterations in sea water temperatures occurred in 2016. This phenomenon was called by the name of "La mancha", from English The blob.

In this article we are going to tell you what The blob is and what effects it has on the environment that surrounds it. If you want to know more about it, this is your post.

What is the blob

Heat stain

We are talking about an anomaly in sea water temperatures in the North Pacific area. This alteration in temperatures has had various scientific teams studying why the water heated up 4 degrees Celsius above normal in the most superficial layers. This anomaly of temperatures extended from Mexico to Alaska and it occupied a strip 1600 kilometers wide.

The scientists who studied this anomaly were a group of researchers led by experts from the University of Washington. Several articles were published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters explaining the possible causes of La Mancha. They already started to notice an increase in temperatures during the fall season of 2013 and early 2014. This body of water does not cool down as it usually is, so during the spring of that same year it was already warmer than it had ever been seen before at that time of year.

The term The blob was coined because it had a round shape of a blob that marked the areas where temperatures increased abnormally. This fact made many people think that it was a kind of warning that global warming was causing this unusual increase in Pacific water temperatures and that it could affect the climate in much of North America.

Impact of The blob on marine ecosystems

the blob

As we know, natural ecosystems, whether maritime or terrestrial, have an ecological balance. This balance is more or less constant over time and is a kind of harmony between all the values ​​of the variables that influence the ecosystem. Variables like temperature, wind regime, level of rainfall, existence of flora and fauna, soil pH, nutrients, etc.

In this case, we are talking about an effect on the entire ecosystem after the sudden change in one of the values ​​of the most important variables that influence the state of an ecosystem: temperature. We can intuit that in a marine ecosystem, temperature is one of the most important variables in order to generate a margin in which both animal and plant species can inhabit.

If the values ​​of the average temperatures to which the living beings in these areas are usually accustomed are modified by a range of 4 degrees centigrade from normal, the first thing you have are various negative impacts. The hot water had a great impact on ecosystems, generating a great problem in the food chain on which many species depended. If the most vulnerable species in turn is the beginning of the food chain, the ecosystem will be seriously affected by this change in the value of temperatures.


The studies that were published related the hot water spot with alterations in the meteorological phenomena of high pressure in the boreal winter of the year 2013-2014. These meteorological phenomena had an alteration due to the Pacific Oscillation and the El Niño phenomenon. The experts tried to present various observations on the processes that occurred at that time but could not draw conclusions about the scope or the relationship it had with other processes involved in climate change.

It was thought that these alterations in recent months were caused exclusively by the effects of climate change, since all that this phenomenon so that various changes, such as those seen in the increase in temperatures, will become more common as the years go by.

The blob reappears

Effects of The blob

When it was thought that this would not happen again, on September 21, 2019, other marine heat waves have been detected that have been produced by the increase in the abnormally high and prolonged water temperature in a specific place. For this increase in temperatures to have an impact, it must last at least a period of five days.

When in doubt as to whether these phenomena are occurring more frequently due to climate change, a study has been carried out and an article published in the journal Nature Climate Change which states that these phenomena are 17% longer between 1987 and 2016. This new study has linked the occurrence of marine heat waves with damaging effects on ecosystems. As the oceans are warming more and more due to the increase in global temperatures, these marine heat waves are forming more frequently and longer lasting.


If this continues, the effects on ecosystems will be greater and greater. The latest Blob event severely binges marine life in the eastern Pacific waters, especially pens that we know are highly vulnerable to changes in temperature. In addition, it has caused economic disasters throughout the fishing sector as catches have decreased.

For example, the animals most affected by rising temperatures are those that cannot move into colder waters and their lives are seriously endangered. Now scientists are waiting for a devastating new marine heat wave to develop, recording another new patch in the Pacific Ocean. They are great stain that has been recorded has temperatures greater than 3 degrees above average values.

Hopefully these anomalies stop having impacts on marine life. I hope that with this information you can learn more about The blob.

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