Oceans and Climate Change? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Seeker's Thoughts

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Oceans and Climate Change?

Climate change is impacting everything - which includes the weather patterns, crops, and economics as well.  Climate change is not something that we can avoid. It has started the impact, which includes the oceans. 

Oceans and Climate Change?  

Oceans are an important part of human lives, and it has far more diversity of species than the land has. Oceans have a role in the ecosystem of the earth, and somehow climate change will certainly temper the role. 

Global leaders must act to tackle the climate change unlike the 45th President of America Mr. Donald Trump - who laughed at the Climate Change and even withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement

However, it remains a segment of conspiracy theory- the truth is that climate change is as real as you and me. There are shreds of evidence, but we need to observe them, not just see and neglect them.

This article intends to connect climate change and ocean currents. After reading, you will understand how climate change impacts the Ocean? And how will the impact upon the oceans impact the human lives--- who remains the ultimate victim of own ignorance?

But to understand everything else, the first one has to understand the system of Oceans and the concept of oceanic currents.

What are the Oceanic Currents?

The Earth rotates, and there is a temperature difference between the poles and the center of the globe. Due to temperature differences, rotation of the Earth, the moon's gravity, and the salinity of water the ocean current generates, they can cover a vast area.

Occasional events such as massive storms and underwater earthquakes can also trigger severe ocean currents, moving masses of water inland to reach shallow water and coastlines. The quake may also trigger the rapid downslope movement of water-saturated sediments, creating strong turbidity currents.

An Ocean Current is a directed water movement, which can be for different periods in different directions due to various factors.

The current generating factors can vary, for example, the Earth's rotation or the temperature change.

In Depth, when the water is directed, the reason changes, for example, salinity.


Ocean Currents are essential: Why?

The Oceanic Currents can be on the surface and in-depth. The Oceanic current on the body can be significant in determining the continents' climates, especially those regions bordering the Ocean.

Perhaps the most striking example is the Gulf Stream, which makes northwest Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude.

The rain we get, the atmosphere, the seafood, everything depends upon the ocean currents.

According to a few research papers from 1990 to 2013, the current's energy increased by 15% per decade. 


The Dying Glaciers will be the end of humanity

 How is Global Warming affecting ocean circulation?

The data remains widely unavailable, and there is too much gap in understanding how exactly climate change affects the oceans.

 However, there are certain pieces of evidence ---

The Atlantic Ocean's Gulf stream may be weakening as Arctic melt slows its driver, the sinking of salty water in the North Atlantic. In contrast, currents in the Pacific Ocean have seen a substantial uptick. 

The Kuroshio current, running up Eastern Asia, has seemed stable, whereas the Agulhas, flowing along Africa's eastern coast, has broadened, fracturing into meandering eddies. 

As the globe warms, the atmosphere is becoming more unstable. According to an international team of climate scientists, the oceans are becoming more stable, who say that the increase in stability is greater than predicted. A stable ocean will absorb less carbon and be less productive.

But stability in Ocean does not indicate a sound signature--- this means that oceans will turn silent.

The Layers of the Ocean will not mix, which further leads to colder and oxidized water from the bottom of the Ocean does not rise. Due to this, oxygen and nutrients will not be delivered to the surface. As a result, the warm surface will not be able to absorb the CO2.

The ability of the oceans to bury heat from the atmosphere and mitigate global warming is made more difficult when the Ocean becomes more stratified and there is less mixing.


The Arctic Ocean is already consuming lesser CO2.

Ice loss is a critical consequence of climate change. As sea ice continues to melt in the western Arctic Ocean, more fresh water is entering the upper portion of the water in the Canada Basin, which sits off the coast of Alaska and Canada, south of the Chukchi Shelf.

This summertime melt cycle is exacerbating seasonal changes and increasing the amount of carbon dioxide present in the water’s topmost layer, which comprises the upper 70 feet of the water column. This is reducing the basin’s capacity to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


More Methane in Atmosphere: Due to Ocean Warming

Another effect of global warming can be the release of methane into the atmosphere,

Methane is stored under the seafloor, concentrated in hydrates, crystalline ice structures that stay stable under high pressure and at low temperatures. Several studies suggest that as the Ocean warms, the hydrates might melt and potentially release methane into the ocean waters and atmosphere


Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO. 2) from the atmosphere. The main cause of ocean acidification is the burning of fossil fuels.

Why are Stable Oceans Threatening to Humans?

We usually consider that ‘stable’ means good, however, this goes against the nature of the Ocean. Stable Conditions for the atmosphere are good but never for the ocean.

Hot water rises because it is less dense than cold water. When hot water is on top, the vertical mixing of layers of the ocean slows. Also, due to the melting of glaciers, there is more fresh water in the ocean. The freshwater is less dense than the salt water of the ocean, so it remains on the surface as well. Therefore, both reasons--- the increased temperature and salinity cause greater ocean stratification or lesser ocean mixing.

The ability of the oceans to bury heat from the atmosphere and mitigate global warming is made more difficult when the ocean becomes more stratified and there is less mixing.

Less downward mixing of warming waters means the ocean surface warms even faster, leading, for example, to more powerful hurricanes. Global climate models underestimate these trends.

Therefore, as a conclusion, we are above that stage where only policy change could have handled the situation. We need to be inclusive in our approach at every level- so that humanity can survive. 

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