In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, Suquamish fisherman John Jones pulls in a salmon he caught in a gill net just outside the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Scientists monitor new marine heat wave off West Coast

Researchers say stretch of unusually warm water resembles the ocean ‘blob’ of five years ago

Federal scientists say they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the U.S. West Coast.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday the expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, and it resembles a similar heat wave that disrupted marine life five years ago.

It remains to be seen whether this heat wave dissipates more quickly than the last one.

NOAA Fisheries said the water has reached temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

RELATED: Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s north coast

Scientists dubbed the last West Coast heat wave “the blob.” Its effects included poorer survival rates for young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they hunt closer to shore, and an algae bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming.

Gene Johnson, The Associated Press

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