Spring 2007 Update: Long Term Temperature-Area 3 (S. New England)
Index area 3 of the long term ERSST dataset overlaps most of the Southern New England area of the shelf. The annual mean SST for area 3 during 2006 was 13.2°C which is greater than the long term mean of 12.4°C, but still less than the maximum of the time series of 14.3°C. SSTs were higher during the mid-century warming period of the 1940s, and nearly as high as the beginning of the time series. Winter-summer temperature difference has been increasing during the last few decades, which has been interpreted as an effect of climate change. The winter-summer difference was 15.3°C in 2006, which is greater than the long term mean of 14.7°C, but still less than the maximum difference of the time series of 17.2°C. However, this maximum was a single point early in the time series, which does not put into perspective how temperature appears to be trending to higher values in recent years. Finally, the fall SST index for this area is patterned similarly to the annual mean with a value of 13.3°C in 2006, which is greater than the long term mean of 12.8°C, but still less than the maximum of the time series of 15.1°C.