Extreme and large-scale warming events in the ocean have been dubbed marine heatwaves,and these have been documented in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This paper examinesthe intensity, duration, and frequency of positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Atlanticand North Pacific Oceans over the period 1950–2014 using an objective definition for marine heatwavesbased on their probability of occurrence. Small-area anomalies occur more frequently than large-areaanomalies, and this relationship can be characterized by a power law distribution.

Humans have reduced the abundance of many large marine vertebrates, including whales, large fish, and sharks, to only a small percentage of their pre-exploitation levels. Industrial fishing and whaling also tended to preferentially harvest the largest species and largest individuals within a population. We consider the consequences of removing these animals on the ocean's ability to store carbon.

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