The likely cause is warmer ocean waters. Temperatures in the North Pacific have been three to seven degrees Fahrenheit higher than average for the last two years. The “warm blob”, as it has been called, is rattling the marine food chain from bottom to top. “Whole systems are out of whack,” says Heather Renner of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, a federal agency which manages a collection of far-flung islands and remote coastline in Alaska which, if laid over a map of the continental United States, would stretch right across it. The refuge contains nesting colonies for most of the state’s murres, which are a sizeable chunk of the worldwide population.