Stories

Climate change threatens coastal life as we know it

An endangered right whale breaches on a sunny day off the coast of Georgia
Right whales are endangered again as their feeding grounds are threatened. Photo: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Permit # 15488

The Gulf of Maine is getting warm — quick. From 2004–2013, sea temperatures there rose faster than almost any other location on Earth.

Why it matters: The Gulf is home to a number of endangered species, and the fisheries there bring in several billion dollars per year to the U.S. and Canada, but the Gulf’s future hangs in the balance. Researchers are scrambling to understand what the warming water means for the people and animals who rely on the ecosystem, particularly as the changes there provide a glimpse into the future of coastlines around the world.