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Ocean temperature off US and Canada Northeast highest in 150 years

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that ocean surface temperatures off the Northeast US and Canada have reached 57.2 degrees F in 2012 - a record.
Credit: Matt Cardy

The continental shelf just offshore from the Northeast US and Canada reached its highest average yearly temperature in 150 years say scientists.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that surface temperatures have reached 57.2 degrees F in 2012.

The reading has been about 54.3 F over the last three decades.

The high temperature is just another in a long-term trend of elevated readings in this region of the Atlantic.

Newsroom America said that the increase in temperature was the highest jump in temperature since recording began in 1854.

The year 2012 was also one in only five years where the temperature has jumped more than 1.8 F.

The warmer temperatures have affected the distribution and abundance of fish species.

Yet, so far the effects of rising temperatures on sea life is unknown except that many species of fish are moving further and further northeast.

"What these latest findings mean for the Northeast Shelf ecosystem and its marine life is unknown," said researcher Michael Fogarty of the NOAA's the Ecosystem Assessment Program.

"What is known is that the ecosystem is changing, and we need to continue monitoring and adapting to these changes."

Rising ocean temperatures both in the Northeast and around the world are being blamed on climate change.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says that global ocean temperatures have risen steadily since 1901 at an average of .13 F per decade.

The last three decades has shown the largest increase this century.

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