Thomas quoted in The American Prospect article on puffins, climate change

Andrew Thomas, a professor of oceanography at the University of Maine, was quoted in The American Prospect article, “Puffins: Harbingers of climate change.” The diversity of water in the Gulf of Maine has allowed for a range of birds at the southern end of their North American breeding limits, like puffins and Arctic terns, and birds at the northern end of their nesting range, such as species of herons, ibises and oystercatchers, according to the article. But climate change is warming the Gulf of Maine faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, the article states. The duration of summer-like sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine is extending by about two days every year, Thomas explained. Today, the duration of summer temperatures is two months longer than it was 35 years ago. “It is a head-scratching number,” Thomas said. “It’s a perfect storm of perfect impacts. When I first saw the numbers, I couldn’t believe it. I did the calculation three more times. I got the same numbers no matter how I plotted it. This is something I never expected.”