Gulf of Maine has eighth warmest summer on record

By: - October 9, 2023 12:45 pm

This series of maps shows the average monthly SST anomaly for June 2023, July 2023, and August 2023. The box outlined by the black dashed line denotes the region of study for the analysis. Darker red regions indicate warmer anomalies. A black contour has been added at 200m depth. (Image by Gulf of Maine Research Institute)

The Gulf of Maine was still warmer than average, but despite a scorching summer, the water didn’t heat up quite as much as it has in recent years.

This summer was the eighth warmest summer on record for waters surrounding Maine since 1982 with temperatures averaging almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the norm, according to a new report from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

That is lower than summer 2022, which was almost 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average, and summer 2021 — the warmest on record — which was more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average water temperatures.

The seven warmest summers have all occurred since 2010.

The summer surface temperature of the Gulf of Maine is still warming four times as fast as the global ocean, the report says. Per decade, the Gulf of Maine is warming by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, compared to about a quarter of a degree in the global ocean.

A monthly breakdown of the data shows this July was the fourth warmest July on record. June and August were still above the long-term average for those months, but they were ninth and 12th warmest on record, respectively. 

The report measures sea surface temperatures from June 1 to August 31. 


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AnnMarie Hilton
AnnMarie Hilton

AnnMarie Hilton grew up in a suburb of Chicago and studied journalism at Northwestern University. Before coming to Maine, she covered education for newspapers in Wisconsin and Indiana.