Ocean Action Hub

18 December 2016 - How does global warming affect the ocean? First of all, as the seas warm, tropical storms become more frequent and severe — remember Katrina, Sandy and Irene. There was also a hurricane in the Atlantic in January 2016, which is way out of season for hurricanes.

Next, increased warmth causes coral reefs to bleach and die. One third of Earth’s coral reefs are bleached, and many are not expected to recover. Sea life depends upon these reefs, when they are gone, the oceans will start to die.

Also, the polar ice caps are melting. Satellite views of the Earth through the years show this. Much of this meltwater is fresh water, thus changing the saline content of the oceans. Sea life has evolved to exist on this salinity, so if it changes, many fish and marine mammals will suffer and die.

The sea level will continue to rise, as it already has. Miami Beach now faces a flooding problem, the Dutch are building higher dikes and experimenting with floating buildings. The cold water entering the seas North and South will interfere with the warm currents — which drive our weather and climate patterns, and it’s anybody’s guess as to what this will bring.

CONTINUE READING HERE: http://www.leaderherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/2016/12/global-warming-and-the-ocean/

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Publication date: 
Climate Change
Thematic Area: 
Marine ecosystems
United States