GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — A mysterious patch of warm water across the Pacific Ocean may have caused a decline in the birth rate of humpback whales, according to a new study.

The study by the Keiki Kohola Project and California State University was published to the Royal Society Open Science on March 18.

It said the persisting stretch of warm water — nicknamed as the “blob” — may have affected the humpback whale’s food chain resulting in a disruption in their reproduction.

Female humpback whales travel south from Alaska to Hawaii to breed. But first, they need to store enough fat cells to produce a hormone that stimulates ovulation. Less food means fewer chances of breeding.

The “blob,” which scientists first noticed in 2013, has also killed krills and affected other marine creatures. It has reportedly doubled in size and become up to 2.5C warmer than the norm.

Researchers attribute the “blob” to climate change.