Gulf Of Maine: How Is Climate Change Going To Affect This Great Gulf? | Kidadl


Gulf Of Maine: How Is Climate Change Going To Affect This Great Gulf?

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The Gulf of Maine is among the world's fastest-warming ocean areas, with average surface temperatures going up faster than 99 % of the oceans of the world.

The Gulf of Maine is a habitat to a diverse range of marine life, from substantial blue whales to microscopic plankton, making it one of the world's most significant marine environments.

The Gulf of Maine produces a lot of fish. In the Gulf of Maine, the southerly Gulf Stream and the northern Labrador Current collide, forming a counter-clockwise ocean gyre that transports nutrients across the Gulf. The Gulf's mix of deep basins and channels, as well as shallow banks, supports a wide range of ocean temperatures and, as a result, a high level of biodiversity.

In the Gulf of Maine, Acadia National Park preserves nearly 60 mi (95 km) of coastline and about 18 islands. The unique water temperatures in the North Atlantic support a diverse range of marine life, especially marine mammals, seabirds, tidepool invertebrates, and fish species that have consistently aided the local economy.

For more facts articles, do not forget to check out our facts about the Gulf of Thailand and Bohai sea, and share them with your friends!

The History And Ecology Of The Gulf Of Maine

The Gulf of Maine is a semi-enclosed sea that stretches for 7,500 mi (12070.08 km) of coastline and encompasses 36,000 sq mi (93239.6 sq km) of water.

Three New England counties (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine) with two Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) surround the Gulf. The Gulf of Maine has water depths ranging from zero to many hundred feet. The Georges Basin is the deepest spot, which is 1,200 ft (365.76 m) deep.

History And Political Significance

The Laurentide Ice Sheet expanded from Canada and submerged much of New England as well as the Gulf of Maine around 20,000 years ago, leaving the Gulf of Maine as dry ground.

The sea level was approximately 300-400 ft (91.4-122 m) lower than it is now. As a result, the ice sheet's weight strained against the Earth's mantle, and as the glacier receded, the area that had become the Gulf of Maine was filled by seawater.

The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Canada, and Cape Sable, Nova Scotia.

Geography And Hydrography

Casco Bay, which sustains a diverse range of marine species, is essential to the Gulf. Roughly three months after reaching the Gulf, water escapes predominantly through the Great South Passage, between Georges Bank and Cape Cod.

The high seafloor of George's Bank separates the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic Ocean south of Cape Cod and alters the passage of currents beneath the surface. Just outside this limit, two large streams, the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current, meet.

The coastline of the Gulf of Maine changes the passage of cold water into the Bay of Fundy. Massachusetts Bay, Great Bay, Saco Bay, Cobscook Bay, Penobscot Bay, Merrymeeting Bay, Muscongus Bay, Narragaugus Bay, Machias Bay, Blue Hill Bay, and Passamaquoddy Bay are among the tiny estuaries that reach the sea in the Gulf of Maine. 

Marine Life In The Gulf Of Marine

The Maine Gulf is home to a diverse range of ecosystems.

Deep channels (Northeast Channel), sandy banks (Georges Bank), and deep basins have water depths exceeding 600 ft (182.8 m). Coastal regions near the shore and bottoms made up of rocks, gravel, boulders, and sand are examples of the many environments there. In addition, the Gulf of Maine ecosystem is made up of salt marshes, kelp beds, tidal mudflats, seagrass beds, undersea rocky outcrops, and other marine and estuary ecosystems.

The Gulf of Maine has a long history of fishing, coastal development, maritime transportation, and recreational activities; all of these human activities have impacted habitat integrity. As a result, there are over 20 different species of dolphins and whales. The fish are Atlantic cod, ocean sunfish, bluefin tuna, mako sharks, haddock, basking sharks, and flounder.

Lobsters, scallops, sea stars, crabs, oysters, and mussels are examples of marine invertebrates. Plankton contains nutrients for many of the Gulf of Maine's more giant marine animals. The state's Department of Marine Resources can provide information on specific marine species.

Sea Level Rise

Sea levels are rising along the Maine Coast and across the world, leading to increasing water temperatures and melting glaciers.

Shorebirds use shoreline environments such as sand dunes, distant offshore islands, and rocky intertidal zones to reproduce in the Gulf of Maine. More violent storms and flooding, both linked to climate change, will significantly impact coastal communities and parks as sea levels rise.

The Gulf of Maine boasts some of the world's largest tide ranges. The difference between low and high tide in the southern Gulf of Maine, such as the area surrounding Cape Cod, can be as little as four ft (1.2 m). The Bay of Fundy, however, which covers the northern Gulf of Maine, boasts the most extraordinary tides in the world. The difference between high and low tide might be as much as 50 ft (15.24 m) in this area.

Overexploitation, habitat degradation, and coastal development are all threats to the Gulf of Maine. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico has been cut off from its regular cold water flow from the deep due to a modest shift in ocean currents attributable to climate change. As a result, warmer water has been permitted to pool in undersea crevasses, eventually warming the Gulf.

Melting sea ice from the Arctic is progressively mingling with the Gulf of Maine waters. This additional freshwater intake to the Gulf will modify the salinity of the water when combined with fluctuations in precipitation. These alterations will impact the organization of plankton communities, favoring specific species and setting off a chain reaction that will affect the entire marine food web. Lobster populations have relocated north, disrupting Maine's economy and the ocean community.

'Changes are coming - it's unavoidable', says Lou Van Guelpen, the Huntsman Marine Science Center's director of fishes in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Local organizations are stepping up to control pollution, analyze ocean acidification, and explore innovative solutions to lessen the acidity of the gulf waters, despite the state government's delayed response. Touring Acadia National Park allows you to see firsthand the impact of climate change. It is a location that has already started to alter due to human activity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our article about the Gulf of Maine, then why not take a look at our facts about the Gulf of California or Gulf of Mexico?

With a Master's in Philosophy from the prestigious University of Dublin, Devangana likes to write thought-provoking content. She has vast copywriting experience and previously worked for The Career Coach in Dublin. Devanga also possesses computer skills and is constantly looking to boost her writing with courses from the universities of Berkeley, Yale, and Harvard in the United States, as well as Ashoka University, India. Devangana was also honored at the University of Delhi when she undertook her Bachelor's Degree in English and edited her student paper. She was social media head for the global youth, the literacy society president, and the student president.

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