Climate Change and Effect on Ocean

Photo Credit: Keith Hall

Ocean Climate Change is real and it’s spectacular! Not spectacular in the way that I like seeing what is happening to our world Oceans, but spectacular in the way our Oceans are changing. I realize there is debate as to whether global warming in the Ocean is caused by human activities by adding more carbon into the atmosphere; however, in my eyes – and in the eyes of the scientific community – climate change is caused by human activity. Period. End of Story. There is no debate. It’s not a belief…it is real. Now what?!?! How do we stop it or can we?

The Problem

Before we go into how we can stop it, I would first like to introduce to you the problem. Climate Change is process whereby the average climate (as in weather, not just temperature) is different from the average climate occurring in the recent past. Our planet’s climate has undergone slow changes moving from one extreme (extreme cold like the Ice Ages) to the next (Drought Stage). This cycle occurs over centuries and maybe even longer. Our Climate is constantly changing and it is currently changing; however, we usually won’t see it happen over a quite period of time…until now.

Breaking Down the Problem

Here is how our climate works (remember, I am not a meteorologist, I am just a marine ecologist). The sun warms our little planet through its heat in the form of energy called wavelengths. The wavelengths rebound off of the land and sea (where some energy is absorbed) and out of the atmosphere (the sky) back into space. Some of the wavelengths are rebounded back to the atmosphere by particles in the sky. The amount of wavelength energy that rebound off of these particles heat our Planet again. The wavelengths will rebound off the land and sea again to go back up into the sky either travelling out of the atmosphere or rebounding back. The particles are called Green House Gases and they tend to cause the Sun’s energy to remain within the Atmosphere. The more Green House Gases there are, the warmer the climate gets.

The Effects

So you might think that the Planet will get warmer as the Sun’s energy remains within our atmosphere never being given he chance to travel into space. You are Correct! The temperature will go up and has gone up over the past 50 years or so. BUT, temperature is not the only thing playing a role as the seas surface will rise, the ocean will become more acidic, and the weather will get more variable and intense. The seas will rise because increased temperature will melt the polar ice caps (icebergs) which will cause a rise in sea level as all of the water will escape in liquid form. There is enough water held in the polar ice caps to raise the sea level by at least one foot (probably more). What does this mean? Well, you will have to check out the link below on Sea Level Rise to find out more. The same goes for Ocean Acidification and increased weather patterns.

Solving this problem is not simple and will require the entire human race to figure out practical solutions to the problem to stop and/or reduce it and adapt to the problems we already observe today.

Learn More About Climate Change

Learn About Sea Level Rise

All Efforts to Stop Climate Change May Not Be Correct!

Buy Local, Save Global

The Ocean, They are a Changin’

Adapting to the Changing Seas

Movie debunks Climate Change Myths