It looks like the heat of this year's summer is taking a toll on various U.S. states, including Puget Sound along the northwestern coast of Washington. Not only do environmental reports contain land events such as wildfires but water fiascos as well. Scientists have noted that the water in Puget Sound are increasing in temperature, with the record-breaking warm area in the Sound dubbed the "Blob."

The Blob is said to have come from the Pacific Ocean and has migrated to the Sound, adding to the extreme heat being felt in the area and contributing to the overall impact of drought across the state.

The warming conditions being experienced in the state does not only affect its citizen but the marine life at the Sound as well. As per the monitoring records of the Washington Department of Ecology and other scientific organizations across the counties and state, several environmental setbacks have been noted already; these include hazardous algal blooms, reduced amounts of dissolved oxygen, numerous closures of shellfish and generally destructive states for the salmon and other cold-loving animals under the water.

"We're measuring water temperatures in the Sound 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal from our past 25 years of record keeping," said Christopher Krembs, Ecology senior oceanographer. Warm water can be seen from all around, he adds.

The scientists are particularly involved in investigating more about the unique conditions and the manner in which it can affect the Puget Sound. They believe that having adequate knowledge about the influences of the warm water and weather is of utmost importance. For one, warm water is acknowledged to contain reduced amounts of oxygen, which may be conducive for the initiation of various diseases. Through the partnerships of different scientific agencies to monitor water quality and marine life, as well as to improve their understanding of the Blob, Washington may be more prepared to battle climate change.

"The overall weather conditions of the last year or so are expected to occur much more commonly in the future decades," explains Nick Bond, climatologist from the Washington State. The present situation involving the Blob is actually an opportunity for experts to determine the impacts of climate change and therefore, devise plans to help the state better prepare for it, he adds.

Eliminating the Blob from the Puget Sound is a tough challenge as the drought is causing too much low estuarine circulation, says Jim Shedd, Ecology surface water hydrologist. Without sufficient circulation, the Blob or whatever type of element is placed in the Sound, will have to stay around, he adds.

Photo: Rose Braverman | Flickr

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