E. B. Colbourne
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, P. O. Box 5667, St. John's, NL A1C 5X1
Publication (Upload) date: 24 September 2004
COLBOURNE, E. B. 2004. Decadal Changes in the Ocean Climate in Newfoundland and Labrador Waters from the 1950s to the 1990s. 2004. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 34: 43-61. doi:10.2960/J.v34.m478
A review of decadal changes in the ocean climate in NAFO waters adjacent to Newfoundland and Labrador is presented based on standard station and section data and data from fishery resource assessment surveys. Both the annual trends and decadal means are examined for the decades of the 1950s to the 1990s. The analysis indicates that the 1950s and particularly the 1960s were the warmest decades during the latter half of the 20th century and the 1990s represent the third consecutive decade with below normal temperatures on the Newfoundland Shelf. The decadal mean salinity indicate that the magnitude of negative salinity anomaly on the inner Newfoundland Shelf during the 1990s was comparable to that experienced during the 'Great Salinity Anomaly' of the early 1970s. In addition, the decade of the 1990s has experienced some of the most extreme variations since measurements began during the mid-1940s. Ocean temperatures ranged from record low values during 1991 to record highs during 1999 in many areas, particularly on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland. The potential impact of the changes in ocean climate during the past several decades on marine production in Newfoundland waters is discussed.
Key words: decadal means, interdecadal, Newfoundland shelf, ocean climate, temperature, salinity.