A large swath of warm water spanning thousands of kilometres from the Bering Sea to Mexico, nicknamed by scientists as “the Blob,” has returned to the West Coast, threatening marine life and fisheries. The Blob was christened in 2014, after a similar natural event that spanned two years devastated the salmon industry, damaged ecosystems and disrupted wildlife like whales, sea lions and crabs. “This is a massive pool… of warm water that’s in the Pacific, that is thousands of kilometres huge,” said senior climatologist for Environment Canada David Phillips on CTV’s Your Morning Tuesday. “This one stretches from the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, right through the Gulf of Alaska, right through to California, British Columbia, and down to Mexico.”
The Columbia River Treaty, an international agreement governing the flow of water between British Columbia and six U.S. states, will be 55 years old this year. It has not aged well. The river springs from the Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains of B.C. and winds 1,930 kilometres through the Northwestern United States – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. No other river in North America spills more water into the Pacific Ocean.