Investigators at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (East Boothbay, Maine) and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated to study ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Maine. As part of the Gulf of Maine North Atlantic Time Series (GNATS), a comprehensive long-term study of hydrographic, biological, optical and chemical properties, multiple cruises have been conducted each year since 2001 by using a portable laboratory aboard different vessels (figure 1) and occasionally a remotely controlled glider (figure 2). Data collected during these cruises, when analyzed within the context of a century of climatological and streamflow data, document changes in temperature, salinity, and coastal ocean productivity that appear to be related to recent increases in precipitation and streamflow. These results are evidence of a link between changing hydrologic conditions on land and changes in coastal ocean productivity.
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Evidence from 12-year study links ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Maine with climate change