Studies show that a shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulating system could bring extreme cold to Europe and North America, raise sea levels on the U.S. East Coast and disrupt monsoons that provide water to much of the world.
Atlantic Ocean Currents Weakening
Vincent Saba, a fisheries researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said he’s worked on related studies showing that weakening of the Gulf Stream system leads to regional warming of the waters along the continental shelf of Northeastern North America, prime grounds for commercial and recreational fishing.
Mass Die-Offs Continue to Threaten Marine Life
Balmy temperatures can lead to conditions perfect for the spread of infectious diseases, Sanderson said. When sea ice melts too early in the season, seal pups must enter the water before they are ready to be weaned, leaving them weaker and more vulnerable to disease. Vanishing sea ice also means that seals and sea lions in cold regions will have less space to emerge from the water to rest, breed, or escape predators, forcing them to crowd more tightly together.
The Ocean Gasps for Air
This loss of oxygen in the ocean is significant enough to affect the planetary cycling of elements such as nitrogen and phosphorous which are, “essential for life on Earth,” Dr. Laffoley said.
Science Shows Increased Ocean Acidification from Greenhouse Gases
As the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise, our oceans are playing an increasingly important role in absorbing some of this excess. In fact, it was reported recently that the global ocean annually draws down about a third… Read More ›
Ocean Climate Plan
By David Helvarg Fifteen years ago I was in Fiji on assignment for the book Feeling the Heat, a collection of dispatches from 10 journalists who traveled the world to report on the already visible effects of climate change. In… Read More ›
Ocean Acidification Impacting Southern Oceans
“We were alarmed to find that diatoms were so negatively affected, with some species likely to have diminished silica production before the end of this century,” says Dr Petrou.
Low Oxygen Levels Impact Marine Invertebrates
With rising global temperatures already lowering marine oxygen levels – to the point of producing and exacerbating coastal ‘dead zones’ – this could become a serious problem.
Many marine invertebrates – just like other animals with functional and complex eyes – depend on vision for survival. It helps them find prey, avoid predators, and locate shelter.
“Marine animals are disappearing at double the rate of land-based species”
…marine animals like fish, crabs and lobster are already more likely to be living near the threshold of life-threatening temperatures, and because in the ocean, there are fewer places to hide from extreme heat, said Malin Pinsky, lead author of a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
“These results are stunning, in part because the impacts of climate change on ocean life were virtually ignored just a decade ago,” said Pinsky, an ocean researcher at Rutgers University. The study took a close look at cold-blooded marine species whose body temperatures are dependent on their surroundings.