Fall 2008 Update: Trends in Spring Conditions, Northeast Shelf Ecosystem
Winter and spring SSTs continued warming trend that appears to have begun in 2003. SSTs for season were approximately 6°C during 2008 and are near the mean of the SST time series. The chlorophyll intensity for the winter period and the spring bloom were below and at the trend suggest by the time series, respectively. There is an upward trend to spring bloom intensity, the dynamics of which is not completely understood. The magnitude of the winter period and the spring bloom do not appear to be showing any trends and as cautioned in the Data Sources section, we must be cautious in our interpretation of the 2008 spring bloom magnitude datum, which is the highest in the time series, but derived from data that will likely be revised in future assessments. Winter (Jan/Feb) zooplankton biomass is near the long-term mean, but spring (Mar/Apr) zooplankton biomass appears to be decreasing over the last 5 years. There were no early-summer (May/Jun) collections made in 2008.