Gulf of Maine: 'Poster Child' for Global Warming

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

FRIENDSHIP, Maine - Scientists say the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than more than 99 percent of the world's oceans.

That has environmentalists and fishermen worried about the future of one of the Atlantic Ocean's most unique ecosystems.

Gulf of Maine Research Institute Chief Scientific Officer Andy Pershing says the Gulf's surface temperature began warming nearly 10 times faster around 2004. And scientists say the warming is also causing the Gulf's level to rise.

Scientists are not certain what brought on the trend. Research scientist Nick Record says one possibility is that atmospheric events added significant heat energy to the ocean.

Pershing says the rising temperature could be responsible for trends in the Gulf's fisheries, including the decline of Atlantic cod and Northern shrimp.