The rapid warming of the waters off New England has contributed to the historic collapse of the region’s cod population and has hampered its ability to rebound, according to a study that for the first time links climate change to the iconic species’ plummeting numbers.
Between 2004 and 2013, the mean surface temperature of the Gulf of Maine — extending from Cape Cod to Cape Sable in Nova Scotia — rose a remarkable 4 degrees, which the researchers attributed to shifts in the ocean currents caused by global warming.
The study, which was released Thursday by the journal Science, offers the latest evidence of climate change — this time, affecting a species once so plentiful that fishermen used to joke that they could walk across the Atlantic on the backs of cod.
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