Whales Arriving Early Due to Warm Water

Photo: NOAA/NEFSC Peter Duley

CapeCodOnline: An unexpectedly high number of North Atlantic right whales have taken up early residence off the coast this winter, part of a set of unusual environmental events that appear to reflect a fundamental shift in the ecology of Cape Cod Bay, scientists said this week.

Those unusual circumstances include a wintertime surface water temperature that’s about 2 degrees Celsius higher than what has been typical in the last 13 years, said Charles “Stormy” Mayo, senior scientist at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. A 2-degree Celsius change would translate to about a 3.5-degree Fahrenheit change.

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