How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate

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How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate – As climate change continues, the effects are felt across the planet. The global ocean plays a key role and absorbs most of the carbon dioxide and excess heat produced by human activities. But it is also sensitive. Some significant changes have already occurred, and climate change in our oceans looks worse.

About 90% of the excess heat trapped by atmospheric greenhouse gases is eventually absorbed by the world’s oceans. Because the seas are so large, the change in sea temperature can be considered small – the sea surface layer has warmed a little more than 0.5 degrees in the last century. It’s still enough to cause significant disruption, and warming is accelerating.

How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate

How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate

As objects heat up, they expand, become less dense, and take up more space. Oceans are no different. In fact, between 1993 and 2010, thermal expansion is estimated to have raised sea level by an average of 1.1 million feet per year, accounting for most of the high rise we’ve seen.

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Total sea level rise observed during 1993-2010 averaged 3.2 mm per year, excluding surface water stored as snow, with contributions from various other sources. (Graphic: Manuel Bortoletti/China Ocean Dialogue)

The water is also warmer than the atmosphere above. Rising sea surface temperatures are associated with stronger hurricanes and tropical cyclones, potentially increasing the number of severe Category 4 or 5 hurricanes that strike islands and coastal areas. Warmer water can dissolve less carbon dioxide, meaning more will remain in the atmosphere to accelerate global warming.

Unlike land, increased heat in the oceans creates harmful heat waves. Occurs when unusual weather conditions or water flows cause above-average water temperatures for at least five consecutive days. But they can last for months or even years. From 2013 to 2015, a tidal wave called “The Blob” formed in the North Pacific Ocean and killed millions of seabirds in the Western United States.

When carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it reacts to form carbonic acid: a fairly weak acid, but enough to change the pH of the naturally alkaline sea. Since the industrial revolution, dissolved carbon dioxide is estimated to have lowered the average pH of the upper ocean by 0.1 pH units from about 8.2 to 8.1 (7 is neutral).

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This change doesn’t sound like much, but when pH is measured on a logarithmic scale, it means an increase in acidity of about 30%. This has significant adverse effects on marine chemistry and the ecosystems that depend on it.

Increased acidity is particularly bad news for oysters and other marine life, which use the mineral calcium carbonate to build their shells and exoskeletons. Acidic water may contain more or less of this mineral, so it is less available to calcifying organisms such as clams, oysters, sea urchins, shallow-water corals, deep-sea corals, and calcareous plankton. Worse, the change in chemistry causes existing carbon structures to dissolve.

Coral is particularly vulnerable. Experiments in a small area of ​​Australia’s Great Barrier Reef show that artificially lowering carbon dioxide levels in the sea, returning pH to pre-industrial levels, increased coral calcification by 7%. Then, when scientists increase the amount of carbon dioxide, thereby lowering the pH of the oceans to the level expected later this century, calcification is reduced by a third.

How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate

As climate change continues, many scientists believe that the giant ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will eventually collapse and melt, spilling enough water into the oceans to raise global sea levels by several meters. In the meantime, it may take hundreds of thousands of years, but melting is accelerating. The UN climate body now notes that under a low-emissions scenario, average sea levels will rise between 61cm and 1.1m by the end of the century.

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By 2050, rising seas could cause the biggest tides on Earth to affect at least 300 million people, mostly in Asia.

In the Sundarbans, villagers try to repair a dam that was damaged after seawater flooded a neighboring rice field. This is the lower delta region of India-Bangladesh. Home to about 4.5 million people, the most vulnerable to sea level rise. (Photo © Peter Caton / Greenpeace)

Marine ecosystems will also be affected. Beach and sand habitats are subject to more severe and frequent flooding and erosion, and sensitive freshwater areas, including mudflats and wetlands important for breeding bird species, will be inundated with seawater.

The sea ice that freezes in the polar seas in winter melts and becomes thinner in summer. The melting of this ice does not contribute significantly to sea levels, but it poses major problems for the creatures that rely on them for habitat. Most importantly, polar bears need sea ice to catch seals, and studies show that up to 25,000 bears are estimated to remain in the arctic. The animal colony around the southern Beaufort Sea in Alaska and northern Canada was found to have declined by 40% between 2001 and 2010.

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Ocean currents are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Currently, these currents act as a giant conveyor belt of the global belt: As the winds push the atmosphere from the warm equator to the cold poles, they drag the surface water with them. This water, cooled by the cold polar air, becomes denser and thus sinks into the deep ocean, where it is released to the equator (warmer, rarer, and increasing) through the nearest mass of denser water. above. The circles are rounded by carrying and mixing the nutrients to rotate.

This solvent system dissolves the ice. The large amount of fresh water pouring into the poles reduces the density of the sea and causes it to sink more slowly. Without the same low pressure, the entire global cycle could weaken. In 2018, scientists suggested that the main current in the Atlantic Ocean had slowed by about 15%. And some studies predict it will worsen by more than 30% by 2100.

Based on what happened in the past, scientists say slow ocean currents can cause significant changes in Earth’s atmosphere and thus weather. Winters in Europe could be colder (extreme idea in the movie The Day After Tomorrow). Meanwhile, the waters of the South Atlantic could warm further, disrupting monsoon cycles vital to crops in Asia and South America as sea surface temperatures affect winds and precipitation.

How Does Global Warming Affect The Climate

Ocean creatures rely on oxygen dissolved in seawater just as we breathe air. But climate change is gradually reducing oxygen from the seas: from 1960 to 2010, it is estimated to have lost about 1-2%, and this could rise to 4% by 2100.

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There are several reasons for this. Warmer water may contain less gas, while rifting ocean currents move oxygen from the surface to the depths.

A growing problem arises when manure and other nutrients added to agricultural land are washed into rivers and eventually seawater. With an unexpected food supply, algae can grow and multiply rapidly, sometimes producing large floating blooms called green (or red) tides. These can cause problems, for example, by releasing chemicals that are toxic to fish. When the algae die, the microbes that try to destroy the blooms in the depths draw oxygen from the surrounding water.

Gdansk beach in northern Poland was closed to tourists in the summer of 2018 due to a toxic algae bloom (Photo: Wojciech Strozyk / Alamy)

In extreme cases, dissolved oxygen levels can drop so low that parts of the deep ocean become barren. A 2008 global survey found at least 405 of these dead zones, up from 49 in the 1960s. Perhaps the most important is the Baltic Sea. Despite agricultural efforts to limit the flow from surrounding countries, the Baltic still has a huge dead zone of about 70,000 square kilometers – about the size of Ireland.

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Marine life—from large fish to cyanobacteria—is already being affected by climate change. As the seas warm and currents change, some marine animals are only able to move to the cold water at the poles. These changes in distribution have dramatic effects on the species that feed on them: from human fishing to fishing for zooplankton. Under stress from resource displacement, species are particularly vulnerable if they are already weakened by acidification and oxygen depletion.

Changes in food webs and systems are difficult to predict. In some areas, fishing is actually boosted as they bring valuable new species into their nets. But overall the attack will be bad. A study last year showed that warmer waters have reduced the amount of fish that can be caught sustainably by 4% since the 1930s. The most affected sea was the Sea of ​​Japan;

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