Climate Change Killing Our Oceans
Study: Oceans Can Take Thousands Of Years To Recover From Climate Change
Decades of climate change have taken a toll on ocean ecosystems – and it could take millennia for them to bounce back, according to new research.End of excerpt
By Joseph Dussault, Staff Writer
It only took us an existential moment to damage them, but they won’t be fixed in our lifetime.
Researchers say ocean ecosystems have taken a hit from climate change – and that it could be thousands of years, not hundreds, before they recover. By analyzing layers of fossilized ocean fauna, scientists from UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory and Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute were able to make out correlations between abrupt climate change and disturbances in ocean biodiversity. Their study was published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Biologically diverse seafloors can lose large amounts of dissolved oxygen as a result of climate change. The process – called deoxygenation – can disrupt the biodiversity of ocean ecosystems. But previous studies did not quantify these disturbances and recoveries in relation to sudden climate change. Led by Sarah Moffitt, a UC Davis research team began by extracting a huge fossil core from the ocean floor off Santa Barbara.
And it’s not all in the past – Moffitt says these deoxygenation events should viewed as analogues to the present.
“These past events show us how sensitive ecosystems are to changes in Earth’s climate – it commits us to thousands of years of recovery,” Moffitt said in a statement. “It shows us what we’re doing now is a long-term shift – there’s not a recovery we have to look forward to in my lifetime or my grandchildren's lifetime. It’s a gritty reality we need to face as scientists and people who care about the natural world and who make decisions about the natural world.”
Alarmed by the fact that ocean life on both coasts of US and globally continues to suffer and die due to warming and poisoning. Also alarmed at the amount of humans who don't understand that without the oceans there is no us. I also don't think we are prepared for what is to come. We have already reached 404.67 PPM in our atmosphere with this RELEASE OF STORED HEAT JUST BEGINNING AS WE CONTINUE TO AMPLIFY IT DAILY.
Rapid Global Warming May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think
The research is important for understanding present-day climate because it demonstrates that there are regular decade-to-decade fluctuations in ocean surface temperatures and ocean heat content in the South Pacific that correlate with cycles of climate variability in other parts of the Pacific.
The results suggest that when a cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO, switches to a “positive mode,” the world will see faster temperature increases than it has since about 1999. The PDO, as it happens, has just switched into strongly positive territory.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the positive phase of the PDO — which features milder-than-average water temperatures along the West Coast of North America and parts of the South Pacific, as well as cooler ocean conditions in the central North Pacific — has persisted since July 2014.
The slowdown in the rate of global warming since the late-1990s, commonly referred to as the "global warming hiatus," has been a chimera, since more heat has been deposited into ocean waters during the period, according to this study and several others. Once the PDO flips and stays flipped, that heat will be rapidly released into the atmosphere, increasing global average temperatures.
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There is also evidence that CO2 caused previous mass extinction of 90% of marine life due to acidification. The rate of these changes now by adding anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last plus century that now continue daily is quickening the pace of these changes. What once took thousands of years to unfold has now taken only hundreds, the blink of an eye in the space of time-and it is being driven by human hands. The Anthropocene Epoch is here.
'These findings may help us understand the threat posed to marine life by modern-day ocean acidification'
- Rachel Wood, University of Edinburgh
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