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Gulf Stream intrusion

An Unexpected Intrusion

In 2014, satellite imagery revealed an elongated body of warm Gulf Stream water pushing onto the edge of New England's continental shelf toward the southwest. Scientists have seen similiar phenomena several times since 2006—something WHOI physical oceanographers Glen Gawarkiewicz and Weifeng Zhang dubbed "Pinocchio’s Nose Intrusions." Temperature measurements made by autonomous ocean gliders at the Ocean Observatories Initiative's Coastal Pioneer Array showed that the 2014 warm-water intrusion extended down to about 260 feet—almost to the seafloor. The intrusions can rapidly increase water temperatures by more than ten degrees Fahrenheit, and could have important repercussions for the region's commercial fisheries. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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