Spring 2011 Update: Fall Conditions - Northeast Shelf Ecosystem

The Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem experienced moderating sea surface temperatures (SSTs) during the fall of 2010 after the exceptionally warm conditions found on the shelf during spring and summer. SSTs during the second half of the year were generally below average during July and August and declined to below average levels during November into December. The high level of phytoplankton biomass (represented by the high chlorophyll a concentrations in the adjacent figure) observed in the first half of 2010 and associated with the spring bloom was not sustained into the second half of the year. Integrated estimates of chlorophyll concentration were below average level during summer into fall suggesting that fall blooms were poorly developed on the shelf. Zooplankton biomasses are not yet available for the summer and fall of 2010. Samples were collected but owing to the NEFSC participation in the response to the Deepwater Horizon Incident, sample processing from the northeast U.S. continental shelf ecosystem have been delayed.

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