Climate change could cause oceans to turn green by 2100, study warns

Credit CC0 Public Domain

Credit CC0 Public Domain

Chlorophyll levels could also be skewed by isolated weather events that temporarily tweak algae populations, but which don't necessarily evince the systemic workings of climate change, said Stephanie Dutkiewicz, the study's lead author, in a press release. The different floating particles absorb or scatter the sunlight at different wavelengths, each type adding a different color to the water. Climate change will fuel the blooming of some phytoplankton in some areas, while reducing it in other spots, leading to subtle changes in the ocean's appearance.

Hickman said: "Crudely speaking, where the water is now quite blue because the phytoplankton [have a] relatively low biomass, you are going to see the water getting more blue, and where the ocean is relatively more green because the biomass is higher, you are going to see [it] getting [greener]". By contrast, barren regions of open ocean appear as deep blue from space.

Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

The existing model was altered to allow it to estimate the specific wavelengths of light that would be absorbed, and those that would be reflected back out by the ocean depending on the quantity and diversity of organisms that are present in the body of water. Scientists have predicted that if this continues, ocean colours would change by the end of the century.

"We're going to be able to see - not by eye but by instrument - that the colour of the ocean is changed".

Phytoplankton are microscopic, often single-celled organisms that live in water. They pull carbon into the ocean while giving off oxygen.

But phytoplankton are vulnerable to the ocean's current warming trend.

"Ocean's color will change in the next few decades because of the change in quantity of chlorophyll, all because of alarming global warming conditions", research says. When there are more of these creatures in the water absorbing sunlight, they make the water look greener.

Aerial view of Jack's Point Beach, near Timaru.

Previous research has shown that with warming, the oceans will see a reduction in phytoplankton in many places. And the marine ecosystem also plays a role.

BTS to attend the '2019 Grammy Awards' as presenters!
Big Hit Entertainment responded to the reports and stated, "BTS will be attending the 61st Grammy Awards to present an award". BTS is officially going to the Grammys 2019.

In the interim, Dutkiewicz said, paying close attention to changes in the oceans' colour can offer the first clues of the changes that are underway.

"According to their model, climate change is already changing the makeup of phytoplankton, and by extension, the color of the oceans".

Our world's oceans are in trouble there is no doubt about that.

They serve as food to many aquatic animals but can also become unsafe.

This will happen because some species of phytoplankton will respond well to a warmer environment and will create larger blooms of more diverse marine organisms. That's bad for climate change on several levels: For one, phytoplankton remove about as much carbon dioxide from the air as plants and help regulate our climate, research shows.

The ocean's colors could change as the climate warms, though it won't be very noticeable to the naked eye.

For years, the government has maintained satellites that monitor the kind of light, or radiance, that is coming from the Earth's surface.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Communications, offers a new way to predict these changes, a model which could serve as an early warning signal for ocean health. "Everything in the ocean requires phytoplankton to exist".

And why does that matter? "Phytoplankton are at the base, and if the base changes, it endangers everything else along the food web, going far enough to the polar bears or tuna or just about anything that you want to eat or love to see in pictures".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.