Nearly 95% of Earth’s oceans could be less hospitable to life by the end of the century, study says

Climate change is causing unprecedented warming and acidification of Earth’s oceans, and this could change up to 95 percent of its surface by the end of the century, a new study suggests.

The stark warning was unveiled Thursday by a team of scientists led by Northwestern University, who fear warmer, more acidic surfaces will make the planet’s oceans less hospitable to marine life.

Using global ocean climate models, the team ran two emissions scenarios: one with a peak in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, but slow over the rest of the century; the other is a ‘business as usual’ approach, with emissions continuing to rise over the next 80 years.

The first scenario showed that 36 percent of current conditions will remain on the ocean surface throughout the 20th century, but disappear in 2100.

However, the extreme scenario increases the surface area to as much as 95 percent.

Using global ocean climate models, the team ran two emissions scenarios: one with a peak in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, but slow over the rest of the century;  the other is a 'business as usual' approach, with emissions continuing to rise over the next 80 years

Using global ocean climate models, the team ran two emissions scenarios: one with a peak in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, but slow over the rest of the century; the other is a ‘business as usual’ approach, with emissions continuing to rise over the next 80 years

“The rates of change in atmospheric CO2 over the past century are two to three orders of magnitude higher than most changes observed over the past 420,000 to 300 million years, suggesting that this challenge may be unprecedented for many extant species,” the authors wrote. the study authors in the study published in Nature.

This rapid pace of environmental change means that by the end of the twenty-first century, large areas of the Earth’s ocean may experience climates that are currently not found (“new climates”), and that some twentieth-century climates may disappear. .’

Ocean surface climate refers to surface water temperature, acidity, and concentration of the mineral aragonite, a high-pressure polymorph of calcium carbonate.

Many marine animals use the mineral to form bones and shells, and it supports the vast majority of marine life.

The team created two scenarios, RCP 4.5 ('stabilisation' emissions response scenario with emissions peaking in 2050 followed by a slow increase) and RCP 8.5 (worst case 'business as usual' scenario with emissions peaking in 2100 followed by a slow increase). by a slow increase), to better see the future of our oceans

The team created two scenarios, RCP 4.5 ('stabilisation' emissions response scenario with emissions peaking in 2050 followed by a slow increase) and RCP 8.5 (worst case 'business as usual' scenario with emissions peaking in 2100 followed by a slow increase). by a slow increase), to better see the future of our oceans

The team created two scenarios, RCP 4.5 (‘stabilisation’ emissions response scenario with emissions peaking in 2050 followed by a slow increase) and RCP 8.5 (worst case ‘business as usual’ scenario with emissions peaking in 2100 followed by a slow increase). by a slow increase), to better see the future of our oceans

“Species that are closely adapted to a disappearing climate will have to adapt to different conditions,” the study’s lead author, Katie Lotterhos, of the Marine Science Center at Northeastern University, told AFP. Phys.org reports.

“A climate in which the temperature and chemistry of the water is common today will be rare or absent in the future.”

The team created two scenarios, RCP 4.5 (‘stabilisation’ emissions response scenario with emissions peaking in 2050 followed by a slow increase) and RCP 8.5 (worst case ‘business as usual’ scenario with emissions peaking in 2100 followed by a slow increase). by a slow increase), to better see the future of our oceans.

Between 2000 and 2100, these shifts are expected to widen below RCP 4.5 and extreme below RCP 8.5.

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

In the Northern Hemisphere, the current undersaturated and low pH conditions in the Arctic are expected to become more common in temperate latitudes towards the end of the century.

However, in the Southern Hemisphere, under RCP 8.5 projections, there is almost no overlap between current and projected climate envelopes at all latitudes.

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification.

‘Many marine species have already shifted their habitats in response to warmer waters,’ says Lotterhos.

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

Marine life living closer to the surface is adapting to climate change by moving to different oceans to escape the warming waters, but the study suggests their options may be limited in the future due to near-uniform warming and acidification

“The species communities that exist in one area will continue to shift and change at a rapid pace in the coming decades.”

She said governments should monitor future changing habits in marine surface species.

Ultimately, the world’s oceans need the emissions that are causing their heating and acidification to stop.

“Without (emissions) restrictions, new and disappearing sea-surface climates will be widespread around the world by 2100,” says Lotterhos.

WHAT WILL CLIMATE CHANGE DO TO OUR OCEANS?

According to the National Ocean Service, climate change will contribute to ocean acidification.

This change can be attributed to higher levels of greenhouse gases created as a result of human activities.

Climate change affects the ocean in several ways.

A new study has found that methane eruptions in a region off the coast of Norway are not caused by climate change as previously believed.  However, scientists warn that the human-caused effects of climate change still linger (file photo)

A new study has found that methane eruptions in a region off the coast of Norway are not caused by climate change as previously believed.  However, scientists warn that the human-caused effects of climate change still linger (file photo)

A new study has found that methane eruptions in a region off the coast of Norway are not caused by climate change as previously believed. However, scientists warn that the human-caused effects of climate change still linger (file photo)

It can cause sea levels to rise and smother coral in the sea.

According to the National Ocean Service, climate change can also affect ocean currents, causing “turbid” water conditions with reduced amounts of light.

The organization has provided the following tips to reduce the amount of damage to the oceans:

  • Eat sustainable seafood.
  • Avoid dumping household chemicals into storm drains.
  • Drive as little as possible.
  • To recycle.
  • Print less.
  • Help with cleaning up the beach.

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