The continuous warming of oceans around the world could make the oceans change its color in an unprecedented way due to climate change.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, phytoplankton will transform while the oceans keep on warming. As the relentless greenhouse gas emissions take effect, the bluest part of the ocean will become bluer while the greener zones close to the equator and poles will become greener.
The shifting colors could be a spectacle but have underlying reasons everyone should take note of. The authors of the research see it as a warning sign of extreme global transformations that will take effect on a planet heated by climate change. Warming oceans can eternally change the patterns of blues and greens viewed from space.
The sun’s rays could pierce more than 600 feet underneath the surface of the ocean and everything that is deeper, especially the abyss, is shrouded in darkness. Above it, a great number of water molecules are efficient in soaking up all hues except blue, that is why the color is mirrored out.
Phytoplankton is an organic matter that spreads on the ocean’s surface that changes the color of the water. These microscopic marine algae contain a large amount of chlorophyll. As the ocean continues to warm, irregularity in currents becomes more prevalent. The layers in the water become more composite which means that warm regions do not easily combine with cold regions.
The phytoplankton has a thousand species that could adapt either to warm or cold water. With the persistent warming of waters, some this species will die, others will flourish, while some will move to different locations.
Dutkiewicz together with her team created a climate model that foresee transitions to the oceans. This includes optical properties, for the duration of the century.
“What was special about the model is it suggests the subtle shifts in color are an early warning sign. Phytoplankton is the base of the marine food web. Everything in the ocean requires phytoplankton to exist. The impact will be felt all the way up the food chain,” said study’s lead author, Stephanie Dutkiewicz.
Climate change will boost some of the phytoplankton bloom while decreasing it in other regions. The color of the ocean waters varies from green to blue based on the kind and clustering of the marine algae. An ocean which is deep blue in color signifies little presence of phytoplankton and green waters mean more of it is present.