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March 4, 2022

This USGS video highlights women in science and their research and outreach on the impacts of the North Pacific Marine Heatwave in Alaska. The USGS is studying the impacts of marine heatwaves on ocean food webs using seabirds and their prey as key indicators. These studies allow citizens, scientists, and resource managers to understand responses of marine ecosystems to warming global temperatures.

Alaska's coastal and offshore waters provide foraging habitat for an estimated 100 million birds comprising more than 90 different species. Seabirds reflect the condition of ocean environments and are ocean sentinels that help scientists understand marine ecosystems response to marine heatwaves. The North Pacific marine heatwave in 2014-2016 was the longest marine heatwave for the region, with high sea surface temperatures recorded through multiple winters. USGS scientists are studying the impacts of severe heatwaves and the role of ocean warming on mass seabird die-offs. From Southern California to Alaska an estimated one million common murres died during the Pacific Marine Heatwave.

Video: USGS North Pacific Marine Heatwave 

For more information about USGS Pacific marine heatwave research, visit the link below.

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