The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming. The profound changes underway in the oceans are starting to impact people, the report states. “Due to a domino effect, key human sectors are at threat, especially fisheries, aquaculture, coastal risk management, health and coastal tourism.”
Scientists warn that decreasing amounts of available oxygen will increase stress on a range of species, even as they also face the effects of rising temperatures and ocean acidification. As soon as 2030 to 2040, climate-driven declines in oxygen levels will be detectable in oceans all over the globe. In some places, like the southern Indian Ocean and parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins, evidence of climate-linked deoxygenation is already apparent, while other regions won’t see changes by 2100.
The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday. Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.
New research is pointing to an outsized role that ocean warming has been playing in raising sea levels — a problem normally associated with melting land ice. Water expands as it heats up, and oceans have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel burning, deforestation and animal farming. A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.
A new study identifies a slowdown of the great ocean circulation that, among other planetary roles, helps to partly drive the Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast. The consequences could be dire – including significant extra sea level rise for coastal cities like New York and Boston. A vast, powerful, and warm current, the Gulf Stream transports more water than “all the world's rivers combined,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But it’s just one part of a larger regional ocean conveyor system — scientists technically call it the “Atlantic meridional overturning circulation” — which, in turn, is just one part of the larger global “thermohaline" circulation (“thermohaline” conjoins terms meaning “temperature” and “salty”). For the whole system, a key driver occurs in the North Atlantic ocean.
It's no secret that climate change has been affecting our oceans, with things like warming surface temperatures and rising acidity affecting various species across the world. Now a new report has revealed that the West Coast of North America may be feeling changes so intense that it is altering the overall productivity of local waters, leading to a reduction in marine species spanning from seabirds to salmon.
Not only was it the hottest June for oceans since record keeping began in 1880, but it was the most anomalously warm ocean temperature for any month. That means temperatures were more freakishly above average this past June than at any other time in the period of record.
Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe. A new study has found that recent climate change may be acting to slow down one of these conveyer belts, with potentially serious consequences for the future of the planet's climate. Oceanographers have noticed that Antarctic Bottom Waters, a massive current of cold, salty and dense water that flows 2,000 meters under the ocean's surface from near the Antarctic coast toward the equator has been shrinking in recent decades. This is cause for concern, as the current is believed to "hide" heat and carbon from the atmosphere. The Southern Ocean takes up approximately 60 percent of the anthropogenic heat produced on Earth and 40 to 50 percent of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide.
Scientists based at the University of California, San Diego have analyzed Arctic satellite data from 1979 to 2011, and have found that average Arctic albedo levels have decreased from 52 percent to 48 percent since 1979 — twice as much as previous studies based on models have suggested.
Our oceans are heating up much faster now than they have in the past 10,000 years. This is one of the conclusions from a recently published paper in Science. The researchers traveled back in time to explore how ocean temperatures have changed. Comparison of those temperatures to today's helped them quantify the impact that human greenhouse gas emissions are having on the planet.
The world's glaciers lost 260 gigatons of water each year between 2003 and 2009, making these rivers of ice responsible for almost a third of sea-level rise in that time, new research finds. The study, appearing in the journal Science, used multiple methods to pin down estimates of how much ice is lost from glaciers.
Climate change could get worse quickly if huge amounts of extra heat absorbed by the oceans are released back into the air, scientists said after unveiling new research showing that oceans have helped mitigate the effects of warming since 2000. Heat-trapping gases are being emitted into the atmosphere faster than ever, and the 10 hottest years since records began have all taken place since 1998. But the rate at which the earth's surface is heating up has slowed somewhat since 2000, causing Scientists to search for an explanation for the pause. Experts in France and Spain said the oceans took up more warmth from the air around 2000. That would help explain the slowdown in surface warming but would also suggest that the pause may be only temporary and brief.
Contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.
A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts.
Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem.
The world's oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago, scientists said. Looking back at that bygone warm period in Earth's history could offer help in forecasting the impact of human-spurred climate change, researchers said of a review of hundreds of studies of ancient climate records published in the journal Science. Quickly acidifying seawater eats away at coral reefs, which provide habitat for other animals and plants, and makes it harder for mussels and oysters to form protective shells. It can also interfere with small organisms that feed commercial fish like salmon.
A huge pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean is expanding and could lower the temperature of Europe by causing an ocean current to slow down, British scientists said. Using satellites to measure sea surface height from 1995 to 2010, scientists from University College London and Britain's National Oceanography Center found that the western Arctic's sea surface has risen by about 15 cms since 2002.The volume of fresh water has increased by at least 8,000 cubic km, or about 10 percent of all the fresh water in the Arctic Ocean. The fresh water comes from melting ice and river run-off.
Monsoons, hurricanes and other extreme weather events may trigger earthquakes when faults are ready to rumble. Thomas Ader works in Nepal's Himalaya Mountains, where the monsoon season often brings a meter (3.3 feet) or more of rain each summer. The weight of all that water bends the whole underground system of tectonic plates, Ader said, which scientists can measure through slight seasonal movements in the positioning of GPS stations around the country.
Warning: The warming of the world's oceans can cause serious illness and may cost millions of euros (dollars) in health care. That is the alarm sounded in a paper released on the eve of a two-day conference in Brussels. The paper says the rising temperature of ocean water is causing a proliferation of the Vibrio genus of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, serious gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera.
Life in the oceans is at imminent risk of the worst spate of extinctions in millions of years due to threats such as climate change and over-fishing, a study showed. A build-up of carbon dioxide, blamed by the U.N. panel of climate scientists on human use of fossil fuels, is heating the planet. Absorbed into the oceans, it causes acidification, while run-off of fertilizers and pollution stokes anoxia.
Even at its biggest, Arctic sea ice extent this winter was among the smallest ever seen, apparently tying with 2006 for the least amount of ice covering the region around the North Pole, U.S. researchers reported.
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study. The findings of the study -- the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass -- suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth's mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.
The upper layer of the world’s ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet continuously over the 16-year study period
The world's oceans are virtually choking on rising greenhouse gases, destroying marine ecosystems and breaking down the food chain -- irreversible changes that have not occurred for several million years, a new study says. Climate change is causing major declines in marine ecosystems. Oceans are rapidly warming and acidifying, water circulation is being altered and dead zones within the ocean depths are expanding, said the report. There has also been a decline in major ocean ecosystems like kelp forests and coral reefs and the marine food chain was breaking down, with fewer and smaller fish and more frequent diseases and pests among marine organisms.
Scientists have discovered a fast-moving deep ocean current with the volume of 40 Amazon Rivers near Antarctica that will help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists, in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the current is a key part of a global ocean circulation pattern that helps control the planet's climate.
With the oceans absorbing more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide an hour, a National Research Council study found that the level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unprecedented rate and threatening to change marine ecosystems. The council said the oceans were 30 percent more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution started roughly 200 years ago, and the oceans absorb one-third of today's carbon dioxide emissions.
As the world warms, sea levels could easily rise three to six feet this century. But increases will vary widely by region, with prevailing winds, powerful ocean currents, and even the gravitational pull of the polar ice sheets determining whether some coastal areas will be inundated while others stay dry.
A new model, capable of assessing the rate at which the oceans are acidifying, suggests that changes in the carbonate chemistry of the deep ocean may exceed anything seen in the past 65 million years. The model also predicts much higher rates of environmental change at the ocean’s surface in the future than have occurred in the past, potentially exceeding the rate at which plankton can adapt.
The Earth’s oceans, which have absorbed carbon dioxide from fuel emissions since the dawn of the industrial era, have recently grown less efficient at sopping it up, new research suggests. Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels began soaring in the 1950s, and oceans largely kept up, scientists say. But the growth in the intake rate has slowed since the 1980s, and markedly so since 2000, the authors of a study write in a report in Nature. The research suggests that the seas cannot indefinitely be considered a reliable “carbon sink” as humans generate heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.
Evidence of a link between climate and the rumblings of the crust has been around for years, but only now is it becoming clear just how sensitive rock can be to the air, ice and water above.
The temperature of the world's oceans in July, 2009, was the highest in 130 years of record-keeping. The average water temperature worldwide was 62.6 degrees, according to the National Climatic Data Center, the branch of the U.S. government that keeps world weather records.
The traditional El Nino involves a periodic warming of the water in the eastern part of the tropical Pacific. In El Nino Modoki, on the other hand, the warming occurs farther to the west, in the central Pacific.
The world's marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, warn scientists. More than 150 top marine researchers have voiced their concerns through the "Monaco Declaration", which warns that pH levels are changing 100 times faster than natural variability.
Scientists have issued a new warning about climate change after discovering a sudden and dramatic collapse in the amount of carbon emissions absorbed by the Sea of Japan. The shift has alarmed experts, who blame global warming.
Scientists have found that calcification of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia has declined by 13.3% since 1990. Global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater are to blame. Such a decline is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years.
Australian researchers have discovered that the tipping point for ocean acidification caused by human-induced CO2 emissions is much closer than first thought. Seasonal changes will amplify the effects of human carbon dioxide emissions on ocean acidity, speeding up the process of ocean acidification by 30 years.
Global warming calculations have been too optimistic, and the sea level round the globe is likely to rise a full metre this century, two senior German scientists warned Wednesday.Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects and Jochem Marotzke, a leading meteorologist, said UN-backed data on climate change, predicting a rise of 18 to 59 centimetres, was out of date.
The IPCC's worst projections to sea level rise top out at 68 centimeters (27 inches) by the year 2100. Such a rise would imperil coastal cities around the world. But researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say the problem is potentially a lot worse. They say the oceans could rise by as much as 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) by the end of the century, double the IPCC's estimate.
New research shows
The world's oceans have warmed 50 percent faster over the last 40 years than previously thought due to climate change, Australian and U.S. climate researchers reported Wednesday.
Melting of methane ice unleashed runaway global warming some 635 million years ago, according to a study released Wednesday that has implications for today's climate-change crisis.
Scientists studying the icy depths of the sea around Antarctica have detected changes in salinity that could have profound effects on the world's climate and ocean currents. Voyage leader Steve Rintoul said his team found that salty, dense water that sinks near the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean about 5 km (3 miles) down was becoming fresher and more buoyant.
Sea levels could rise by up to one-and-a-half metres by the end of this century, according to a new scientific analysis. This is substantially more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast in last year's landmark assessment of climate science.
The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists say. University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements. Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid 1990s and 2000 to 2005.
The world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have predicted, according to researchers who looked at what happened more than 100,000 years ago, the last time Earth got this hot.
The world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have predicted, according to researchers who looked at what happened more than 100,000 years ago, the last time Earth got this hot.
Millions of Egyptians could be forced permanently from their homes, the country's ability to feed itself devastated. That's what likely awaits this already impoverished and overpopulated nation by the end of the century. The World Bank describes
Gigantic ocean waves, spanning hundreds of kilometres from crest to crest, have been speeding up thanks to global warming, a new model suggests.
Hurricanes over the past 5,000 years appear to have been controlled more by El Nino and an African monsoon than warm sea surface temperatures, such as those caused by global warming, researchers said. While some researchers say warmer seas appear to have contributed to more intense hurricanes, others disagree. The IPCC said this year it was more likely than not that humans contribute to a trend of increasingly intense hurricanes.
Global warming has increased acidity levels of the oceans by 30 percent and in the decades ahead will create new risks for coral, zooplankton and other creatures that help support the North Pacific fisheries, according to researchers at the
The sinking of Ghoramara can be attributed to a confluence of disasters, natural and human, not least the rising sea. There is little doubt, scientists say, that human-induced climate change has made them particularly vulnerable. A recent study found that in the last 30 years, nearly 31 square miles of the Sundarbans have vanished entirely.
The pristine Southern Ocean, which swirls around the Antarctic and absorbs vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is becoming more acidic as it absorbs increasing amounts of carbon dioxide produced by nations burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.
The delicate interplay between the oceans and atmosphere is changing with catastrophic consequences. Entire marine ecosystems have been wiped out, devastating populations of sea birds and larger marine mammals.
Human-generated carbon dioxide has sunk down to a great depth in the North Atlantic Ocean, a new study has shown. The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1, suggests that the oceans store CO2 for longer than expected -- good news for reducing the risk of climate change, but bad news for marine life in the deep sea.
World sea levels will keep rising for more than 1,000 years even if governments manage to slow a projected surge in temperatures this century blamed on greenhouse gases, a draft U.N. climate report says.
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.
Current sea level rise projections could be under-estimating the impact of human-induced climate change on the world's oceans, scientists suggest. By plotting surface temperatures against sea level rise, the team found that levels could rise by 59% more than current forecasts.
Geologists have discovered underwater deposits of hydrates icy deposits of frozen methane gas at far shallower depths under the ocean floor than expected. The finding suggests that, in a globally warmed world, the hydrates could melt suddenly and release their gas into the atmosphere, thus warming the planet even more.
The Arctic may be close to a tipping point that sees all-year-round ice disappear very rapidly in the next few decades, US scientists have warned.
New NASA satellite data find that the vital base of the ocean food web shrinks when the world's seas get hotter. And that discovery has scientists worried about how much food marine life will have as global warming progresses. The data show a significant link between warmer water and reduced production of phytoplankton in the world's oceans.
The Gulf Stream carrying warm water to the North Atlantic slowed about 10 percent in the Little Ice Age from 1200 to 1850, said a US study that may give clues to the effects of modern global warming.
Scientists have uncovered more evidence for a dramatic weakening in the vast ocean current that gives Britain its relatively balmy climate by dragging warm water northwards from the tropics. The slowdown, which climate modellers have predicted will follow global warming, has been confirmed by the most detailed study yet of ocean flow in the Atlantic.
A bad storm in Alaska last October generated an ocean swell that broke apart a giant iceberg near Antarctica six days later, US researchers reported on Monday. The waves traveled 8,300 miles (13,500 km) to destroy the iceberg, said Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago and Emile Okal at Northwestern University, adding the study shows how weather in one region can affect events far away.
Global warming caused by humans is largely responsible for heating hurricane-forming regions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, probably increasing the intensity of the storms, scientists reported yesterday. The scientists used 22 computer models to simulate how the world's climate works and to help answer the question of whether more intense hurricanes are due to human activities.
Global warming is affecting the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, according to a new study by a university professor in Florida who says his research provides the first direct link between climate change and storm strength.
If the world continues to get warmer, vast amounts of methane gas trapped in ice under the sea could belch up and worsen climate change. Remarkable and unexpected support for this idea occurred when divers and scientists from UC Santa Barbara observed and videotaped a massive blowout of methane from the ocean floor.
Though most of the country's ocean beaches are eroding, few coastal jurisdictions consider sea level rise in their coastal planning, and still fewer incorporate the fact that the rise is accelerating. Instead, they are sticking with policies that geologists say may help them in the short term but will be untenable or even destructive in
"It is little known outside of scientific circles that a fundamental change has already taken place in the chemistry of the two thirds of the earth's surface occupied by oceans. The change, of 0.1 of a pH unit, sounds trivial. . .but it translates to the upper layers of the oceans already being 30 percent more acid than in pre-industrial times."
Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence yesterday supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes.
A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters.
A 34-year trend of intensifying hurricanes has now been tied to warmer sea surface waters which, in turn, is being caused by global warming, say scientists.
The world's coral reefs could disappear within a few decades along with hundreds of species of plankton and shellfish. Researchers have found that carbon dioxide, the gas already blamed for causing global warming, is also raising the acid levels in the sea.
The world's worst fears about global warming and rapid sea-level rise will be realised or exceeded, according to two new reports.
Australian climate change research published yesterday found the average level of the oceans had risen 19.5cm since 1870 and the rate was increasing. The study provides the first evidence of a 20th-century acceleration in sea-level rise and supports predictions the world's oceans will rise 31cm above 1990 levels by 2100.
The microscopic plants that underpin all life in the oceans are likely to be destroyed by global warming, a study has found. The vital plankton of the oceans can be starved of nutrients as a result of warming seas -- a development that can have catastrophic implications for the entire marine habitat.
The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region.
A catastrophic collapse in sea and bird life numbers along America's Northwest Pacific seaboard is raising fears that global warming is beginning to irreparably damage the health of the oceans. Scientists say a dramatic rise in the ocean temperature led to unprecedented deaths of birds and fish this summer all along the coast from central California to British Columbia in Canada.
Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is threatening to make oceans too corrosive for marine organisms to grow protective shells. If emissions continue unabated, the entire Southern Ocean, which stretches north from the Antarctic coastline, and subarctic regions of the Pacific Ocean will soon become so acidic that the shells of marine creatures will soften and dissolve.
The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century of record keeping. That shift is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, the team's members and other experts on the region said.
"Wide-ranging evidence shows that Earth has been warming in recent decades . Observations show that
Corals off Florida, Barbados, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Cuba seemed to be undergoing the worst damage, known as bleaching, since 1997-1998. Corals are vital breeding grounds for many species of fish and draw tourists to the Caribbean.
"We examined the number of tropical cyclones and cyclone days as well as tropical cyclone intensity over the past 35 years, in an environment of increasing sea surface temperature. A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5. The largest increase occurred in the North Pacific, Indian, and Southwest Pacific Oceans, and the smallest percentage increase occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean. These increases have taken place while the number of cyclones and cyclone days has decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade." (Science -- Sept. 16, 2005)
Melting ice and warming waters have raised average sea levels worldwide by more than an inch since 1995, new data from space satellites and robotic submarines have revealed. That's twice as fast as the rate the oceans rose during the previous 50 years.
Oceanic plankton have largely disappeared from the waters off Northern California, Oregon and Washington, mystifying scientists, stressing fisheries and causing widespread seabird mortality.
Ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic hit an all-time high last year, raising concerns about the effects of global warming on one of the most sensitive and productive ecosystems in the world.
Carbon dioxide is turning the oceans acidic, Britain's leading scientific organization warned yesterday. A panel of scientists from the Royal Society said the growing acidity would be very likely to harm coral reefs and other marine life by the end of the century.
Climate change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream -- the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing. One of the "engines" driving the Gulf Stream -- the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea -- has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength. The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big changes in the current over the next few years or decades -- leading to a sharp drop in temperatures in Britain and northwestern Europe.
If the North Atlantic Ocean's circulation system is shut down -- an apocalyptic global-warming scenario -- the impact on the world's food supplies would be disastrous, a study said Thursday. The shutdown would cause global stocks of plankton, a vital early link in the food chain, to decline by a fifth while plankton stocks in the North Atlantic itself would shrink by more than half, it said. A massive decline of plankton stocks could have catastrophic effects on fisheries and human food supply in the affected regions.
A leading US team of climate researchers released "the most compelling evidence yet" that human activities are responsible for global warming. They said their analysis should "wipe out" claims by sceptics that recent warming is due to non-human factors such as natural fluctuations in climate or variations in solar or volcanic activity.
Increased flows of Russian rivers into the Arctic Ocean are due to man-made greenhouse gases and might indicate changing global rainfall patterns, according to a report by leading British climate scientists. That trend is reflected in climate models on when the effects of human-generated greenhouse gases are added.
It sounds insignificant alongside the Indian Ocean tsunami, yet an almost imperceptible annual rise in the world's oceans may pose a huge threat to ports, coasts and islands by 2100. Rising sea levels, now about 0.08 inch a year, could swamp low-lying countries like Tuvalu in the Pacific or the Maldives in the Indian Ocean if temperatures keep rising.
About 70 percent of the world's coral reefs have been wrecked or are at risk from human activities but some are showing surprising resilience to global warming, a report said on Monday. "Twenty percent of the world's coral reefs have been effectively destroyed or show no immediate prospects of recovery," said the report, which added that another "24 percent are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures, and a further 26 percent are under a longer-term threat of collapse."
Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a meter (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, according to the head of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.
Spurred by warming coastal air and waters, some of Antarctica's glaciers have accelerated their seaward march, fresh observations show, suggesting that ocean levels might be irreversibly on the rise for centuries to come.
German scientists probing global warming said they had detected a major temperature rise this year in the Arctic Ocean and linked this to a progressive shrinking of the region's sea ice. Temperatures recorded this year in the upper 500 meters (1,625 feet) of sea in the Fram Strait -- the gap between Greenland and the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen -- were up to 0.6 C (1.08 F) higher than in 2003, they said in a press release. The rise was detectable to a water depth of 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), "representing an exceptionally strong signal by ocean standards," it said.
The increasing acidity of the world's oceans could banish all coral by 2065, a leading marine expert has warned. Professor Katherine Richardson said sea organisms that produced calcareous structures would struggle to function in the coming decades as pH levels fell. The Danish expert told the EuroScience Open Forum 2004 that human-produced carbon dioxide was radically changing the marine environment.
Nearly 50% of the carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere over the last 200 years has been absorbed by the sea, scientists say. Consequently, atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas are not nearly as high as they might have been. But the heavy concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans has changed their chemistry, making it hard for some marine animals to form shells.
A shortage of food has pushed the seabird colonies in the Northern Isles into an unprecedented crisis. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has revealed that this year has been the worst on record for the birds in Orkney and Shetland, which have produced fewer young than in any previous year. Almost all seabirds breeding in Shetlands internationally important colonies feed on sandeels, which have become increasingly scarce.
Strange things are happening in the North Sea. Cod stocks are slumping faster than over-fishing can account for, and Mediterranean species like red mullet are migrating north. Several sea birds are also in trouble. Kittiwake numbers are falling fast and guillemots are struggling to breed. And, earlier this summer, hundreds of fulmar (a relative of the albatross) corpses washed up on the Norfolk coast, having apparently starved to death. Scientists suspect these events are linked and they blame global warming.
A thawing of vast ice-like deposits of gas under oceans and in permafrost could sharply accelerate global warming in the 21st century, British-based scientists said yesterday. Rising temperatures could break down buried mixtures of water, methane and other gases - called gas hydrates - and release them into the atmosphere where they would trap the sun's heat, they said. Gas hydrates could be a "serious geohazard in the near future," the Benfield Hazard Research Center said in a report.
In light of the paleoclimate record and our understanding of the contemporary climate system, it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age. These same records suggest that it is highly unlikely that global warming will lead to a widespread collapse of the AMO--despite the appealing possibility raised in two recent studies --although it is possible that deep convection in the Labrador Sea will cease. Such an event would have much more minor consequences on the climate downstream over Europe.
Some climate scientists have been stirred to ridicule claims in an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster that global warming could trigger a new ice age. Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, whose own models say the Gulf Stream could shut down within a century, said: "The DoD scenario is extreme and highly unlikely."
The hugely damaging El Nino weather pattern can be predicted further ahead than previously thought, giving farmers crucial time to prepare for its devastating effects, new research shows.
The world's coral reefs could be badly damaged by global warming unless drastic intervention measures are introduced. Warming is harming coral reefs in at least three ways. Changes of just 1 or 2 °C can stifle the life-giving algae. Spiralling levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, dissolve in sea water, creating an acidic cocktail that stops polyps oozing their skeleton. And warmer water makes the reef more vulnerable to other threats, such as overfishing, diseases and pollutants that drain into coastal waters.
Sea levels around China's coasts are expected to continue rising in the next three to 10 years, creating grave challenges for coastal dwellers.
The largest ice shelf in the Arctic -- an 80-foot-thick slab of ice nearly the size of Lake Tahoe -- has broken up, providing more evidence that the Earth's polar regions are responding to ongoing and accelerating rates of climatic change, researchers reported. The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, broke into two main parts, themselves cut through with fissures. A freshwater lake drained into the sea, the researchers reported. Large ice islands also calved off from the shelf and some are large enough to be dangerous to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.
Britain is likely to be plunged into an ice age within our lifetime by global warming, new research suggests. A study, which is being taken seriously by top government scientists, has uncovered a change "of remarkable amplitude" in the circulation of the waters of the North Atlantic.
Almost all marine life on the planet turns on a single ocean circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere which pumps nutrient-rich water from the deep and spreads it across the seas, scientists report.It suggests ocean life may be more sensitive to climate change than previously believed. Three quarters of all biological activity in the oceans relies on this single pattern in the Southern Ocean, reports Prof Jorge Sarmiento, of Princeton University, who led the study published today in Nature.
The delicate salt balance of the Atlantic Ocean has altered so dramatically in the last four decades through global warming that it is changing the very heat-conduction mechanism of the ocean and stands to turn Northern Europe into a frigid zone. The study describes planet-scale changes in the regulatory function of the ocean that affect precipitation, evaporation, fresh-water cycles and climate. "This has the potential to change the circulation of the ocean significantly in our lifetime," said Ruth Curry of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the study's lead author.
Global warming means more snow, not less, for the Great Lakes and the snowbound region along the eastern border between Canada and the United States. Their study of snowfall records in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere suggests there has been a significant increase in snowfall in the Great Lakes region since the 1930s but not anywhere else.
The gradual warming of Antarctic waters is indeed causing ice shelves there to melt and collapse at rates that astonish many experts.
The North Sea is undergoing "ecological meltdown" as a result of global warming, according to startling new research. Scientists say that they are witnessing "a collapse in the system", with devastating implications for fisheries and wildlife. Record sea temperatures are killing off the plankton on which all life in the sea depends, because they underpin the entire marine food chain. Fish stocks and sea bird populations have slumped."A regime shift has taken place and the whole ecology of the North Sea has changed quite dramatically", says Dr Chris Reid, the foundation's director. "We are seeing visual evidence of climate change on a large-scale ecosystem. We are likely to see even greater warming, with
Tthe Arctic region is warming up and its sea ice cover is diminishing, with implications for further climate change throughout the globe. Compared with the 1980s, surface temperatures across most of the Arctic warmed significantly in the last decade, with the biggest temperature increases occurring over North America with the rate of warming between 1981 and 2001 was eight times the rate of warming over the last 100 years.
Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing the acidity of the world's oceans more rapidly than any time since the age of dinosaurs -- adding a worrisome new element to the debate over global environmental change. The change could threaten the health of everything from microscopic plankton to coral reefs and reach from the surface to the ocean depths.
A rise in sea temperatures killed off 90 per cent of the coral reefs near the surface of the Indian Ocean in only one year, while the remaining 10 per cent could die in the next 20 years, devastating fish stocks and tourism vital to coastal economies, new research says.
A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing. Whether off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, or in the Gulf of Thailand, the findings were dire: "[T]here is nowhere left in the ocean not overfished," said Ransom Myers, a fisheries biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and lead author of the study.
New evidence from a rapidly warming part of Antarctica suggests that ice can flow into the sea much more readily than had been predicted, perhaps leading to an accelerated rise in sea levels from global warming. Many polar and ice experts said the new study, to be published today in the journal Science, suggested that seas might rise as much as several yards over the next several centuries. They called that prospect a slow-motion disaster, the cost of which -- in lost shorelines, salt in water supplies, and damaged ecosystems -- would be borne by many future generations.
Why is it so frigid when the globe is warming? As several scientists have warned, global warming will be full of surprises. Part of the explanation comes from changes to our north. Warming causes ice to melt, forming cold fresh water. And increased input of cold fresh water to the ocean can affect weather patterns as well as global ocean circulation. Recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere has melted a lot of North Polar ice. Since the 1970s the floating North Polar ice cap has thinned by almost half.A second source of cold fresh water comes from Greenland, where continental ice is now melting at higher elevations each year, accelerating ice ''rivers.'' A third source of cold fresh water is rain at high latitudes.
In what would be a surprising byproduct of global warming, average temperatures in North America and Europe could drop by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades as melting polar ice and increased water evaporation profoundly alter the ocean currents that keep both regions warm, say researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The weather phenomenon El Nino, which is intensified by atmospheric warming, is being blamed by scientists for the freak weather conditions which have caused chaos and many deaths around the world. More than 140 people have died in storms across Europe and Asia in the past few days. But the US and parts of south-east Asia are seeing their worst droughts in many years.
Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may be the worst on record, scientists said after the most comprehensive aerial survey ever conducted. The survey is aimed at helping unravel the implications of global warming for reef management. "Until now, the coral bleaching episode in 1998 was the worst on record, but the 2002 event was probably worse because more reef area was affected," said Dr. Ray Berkelmans.
The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs -- some the size of major cities -- is alarming scientists, some of whom blame global warming.
A Connecticut-sized iceberg is clogging part of the Ross Sea in Antarctica, threatening not only human endeavors there, but disrupting native wildlife. That means there is less near-shore open water for the sun to penetrate and stimulate blooms of microscopic plant life, called phytoplankton. That drop in life at the base of the food chain is leading to less food for fish, seals, whales and penguins.
An Antarctic ice shelf that was 200 metres thick and with a surface area of 3,250 square kilometers has broken apart in less than a month. UK scientists say the Larsen B shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula has fragmented into small icebergs.
Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have tipped the world into a changed climate pattern, research by two Australian government climate scientists indicates. The surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the United States and Central America, have been warmer since the mid-1970s than at any time in the past.
It's too late for Tuvalu, a small island nation in the Pacific. Ten thousand people, Tuvalu's entire population, are packing their bags as their homes among nine low-level atolls are being swallowed by the rising sea. These are the facts of life: the earth is warming, the sea levels are rising, and Tuvalu is quietly being erased from the surface of the earth.
The most comprehensive mapping yet of the "rainforests of the oceans", prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme, showed the world's reefs covered between a half and one-tenth of the area of previous studies. The study showed coral reefs covered just 284,300 square km (110,000 square miles), or less than one-tenth of a percent of the world's seabed. UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said the world's coral reefs "are damaged by irresponsible tourism and are being severely stressed by the warming of the world's oceans. Each of these pressures is bad enough in itself, but together, the cocktail is proving lethal."
Scientists have produced the strongest evidence yet that man-made global warming is responsible for a significant increase in the temperature of the world's oceans in the last 50 years.The average temperature of the major oceans has risen 0.06 degrees C since 1955.Two separate studies - both carried out using computer modelling techniques - have now linked that rise directly with global warming caused by human activity.
Scientists have detected a substantial drop in the last 50 years in the flow of cold deep sea water leaving the Arctic and pouring into the Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland. Because the outflow of cold deep water has diminished, the influx of warm surface water that usually replaces it also has to have declined. That decrease could explain a recent cooling of some coastal regions near the Norwegian Sea.
Scientists see a disturbing change in underwater currents in the Sea of Japan -- triggered by global warming -- appear to be jeopardizing marine life and changing ocean chemistry.
El Niño and La Niña have almost never before reached the sustained intensity seen in the past century. The swings in Pacific temperatures tend to increase in warmer times — like now — but weakened by as much as 50 percent during the protracted cold of the last ice age. The findings suggest additional global warming could further intensify the the El Niño cycles and thus bring more bouts of destructive weather.
Warmer surface temperatures during summers can cause more ice on Antarctica ice shelves to melt into standing water ponds, then leak into cracks and increase the odds of collapse, according to a new study published by an American team of scientists. The team focused on the Larsen Ice Sheet on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen Ice Sheet experienced major retreats in 1995 and 1998, including more than 775 square miles (2007 square kilometers) that disintegrated during a January 1995 storm.
German scientists reported yesterday that the seas are getting rougher, perhaps because of global warming.In the journal Nature, H.H. Essen and two colleagues announced there has been a gradual increase in wave heights in the northeast Atlantic in the past few decades.
An iceberg 10 times the size of Manhattan Island has broken free from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, The National Ice Center In October, 2000. Iceberg B-20, as it is identified by the ice center, was discovered Wednesday by satellite monitoring. The exact date the 345-square-mile berg broke off the ice shelf could not be determined because of cloudiness in the area but it is thought to have been between Sept. 20 and 26.
Scientists have found that the world's oceans have soaked up much of the warming of the last four decades, delaying its full effect on the atmosphere and thus on climate. The deep ocean warming could trigger very large climate changes in the near future.
Scientists have found that if humans stay addicted to carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels, the world's complex coral reef ecosystems will be reduced by as much as 40 percent by the middle of this century.
The highest sea temperatures ever recorded in the Caribbean have caused the first mass die-off of coral in Belize in 3,000 years, and scientists suspect that global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon are to blame. The high temperatures in 1998 lasted for several months and caused much of the Belizean coral reef to bleach and die.
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, report evidence of pronounced changes in the earth's climate that can be tracked in cycles of ocean conditions over thousands of years. These cycles reveal that Earth is currently in a period in which a natural rise in global temperatures - combined with warming from the greenhouse effect - will push the planet through an era of rapid global warming.
Tampering with the global thermostat – by injecting more greenhouse gases into the air – will likely interfere with the traditional El Nino process. Some possible explanations for the changed behavior of El Niños in the past twenty years are that the Warm Pool in the tropical western Pacific is expanding; and/or the recharge phase of El Niño has speeded up; and/or the heat loss phase is less efficient. Any of these could follow from warming and result in more frequent El Niño events. With global greenhouse warming we should expect higher temperatures in the upper layers of the ocean, and a steeper drop in temperature beneath the surface, which would increase the magnitude of swings between La Niña and El Niño. (From the journal CONSEQUENCES, by Dr. Kevin Trenberth.)
Changes in the Pacific Ocean are making it more likely that winter weather in much of the United States will exhibit unusual warmth alternating with sharp cold. Researchers said the pattern, prevalent this winter and last, might predominate for 20 or 30 years. That pattern predominated from the mid-1940's to the mid-1970's.
The biggest global warming in the last 100 million years may have been touched off by a sudden blowout of greenhouse gases from the ocean floor. Scientists worry about a new eruption of seabed methane.
The great ice cover that stretches across the top of the globe has become
about 40 percent thinner than it was two to four decades ago, scientists have
found after analyzing data collected by nuclear submarines plying the Arctic
Ocean. Within the next two decades, global warming could cause a complete shutdown
of one of the two main pumps driving the formation of the North Atlantic Deep
Water - causing a shutdown in Labrador Sea convection and the Labrador Current,
which could, in turn trigger a large-scale Rapid Climate Change Event, according
to a commentary and a new report in the journal Nature.
The findings, according to a
commentary, should be interpreted as a warning that a regional shut-down of
convection could occur, and occur soon. Coastal Louisiana is literally sinking into the sea, giving the rest of North America an alarming glimpse of
what may lie in store in the 21st century. Since 1930, an area 50 percent bigger than Rhode Island has returned to the
sea in Louisiana and another Rhode
Island-sized patch could go in the next 50 years. Rising global temperatures are impacting ocean ecosystems to
a far greater extent than previously acknowledged. From the tropics to the
poles, wide-spread changes in marine life are occurring in step with rising
water temperatures. New evidence shows dramatic impacts arriving
sooner than predicted. Marine diseases are escalating dramatically, according to surveys of coral, starfish, sea grasses, seals, sponges and other organisms, and in many cases the increase is being driven by warming. The southern half of the Greenland ice sheet, the second
largest expanse of land-bound ice earth after Antarctica, has shrunk
substantially in the last five years.
Experts have said for some time that a warming atmosphere has caused many
mountain glaciers around the world to shrink. But until now, they have not known
what was happening to the Greenland ice cap.The new findings, reported in the March 5, 1999 issue of
the journal Science, provide the first precise evidence that it, too, is
diminishing. Rising global sea levels are killing cabbage palms and other coastal trees in Florida due to saltwater exposure as sea water pushes up through water tables. Two ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula known as the Larsen B and Wilkins
are in "full retreat" and have lost nearly 3,000 square kilometers of
their total area in the last year. Researchers attribute the retreats to a
regional warming trend which has caused the annual melt season to increase
by two to three weeks over the last 20 years.
Satellite photos monitored by NSIDC show that the Larsen B ice shelf has
continued to crumble after an initial small retreat in spring 1998. In a series
of events that began in November 1998, an additional 1,714 square kilometers of
shelf area caved away. Since the early 1970s scientists have observed a steady
decline in the extent of the Arctic sea-ice cover, which is disappearing at a
rate of approximately 3% each decade. Furthermore, other, less complete records
of Arctic sea-ice suggest that the decline in extent has been continuous since
mid-century. Even with this trend, the 1990s have seen four summers in which
the aerial extent of Arctic sea-ice was the smallest ever observed. While the
reduction in ice extent is unequivocal, changes in thickness are also apparent,
but more ambiguous. During a year-long experiment in the Arctic in 1998, the
thickest ice floe found for the purposes of setting up an ice station was only
60% of the average (not even maximum) sea-ice thickness anticipated. For reasons no one understands -- although global warming is a top suspect --
the Grand Banks shipping lanes, which are located southeast of Newfoundland,
were an ice-free zone.For the first time in 85 years, the International Ice
Patrol (IIP) issued not a single bulletin reporting lurking bergs.
Arctic Sea Ice Thins at Startling Rate
Ocean Current Shutdown Could Occur in Two Decades
Rising Seas Are Submerging Louisiana Coast
Ocean Warming Impacts Sea Life Faster Than Expected
Ocean Warming Escalates Marine Diseases
Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected
Florida Palms Dying from Sea Level Rise
Researchers Find Deep Ocean Warming
Rising temperatures in the ocean depths off Antarctica provide new evidence that pollution and gas emissions from the Industrial Age are causing global warming.Most measurements of global warming have been made at or near the Earth's surface.But new data from deep ocean probes in the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific show the same warming trend.
Antarctic Ice Shelf Break-Up Accelerates
Researchers Document Arctic Sea Ice Shrinkage
Do disappearing icebergs signal global warming?
Ocean Warming Could Impair CO2 Absorption
Global warming could disrupt the ability of a large portion of the world's oceans to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, setting off a vicious cycle in which the earth gets even hotter
Warming Waters Trigger Massive Iceshelf Rupture
An iceberg larger than the state of Delaware has broken off the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica in what scientists believe may be a sign of global warming. The iceberg, named A-38, measures 92 miles long (147 km) and 30 miles (50 km) wide and covers an area of about 2,751 square miles.
Ocean Warming Creates Pacific Wasteland
The population of tiny marine organisms called zooplankton off the coast of southern California had declined by a stunning 70 percent over the last twenty years due to warming surface waters.
Scientists Discover Further Disintegration of Antarctic Ice Shelves
In 1995, a Rhode-Island sized section of the Larsen Ice Shelf broke off from Antarctica due to ocean warming. In the following year, scientists discovered that five of the nine ice shelves attached to the Antarctic Peninsula have disintegrated over the last half century, as temperatures have risen. In the spring of 1998, a second huge section of the same ice shelf collapsed into the ocean.
The great ice cover that stretches across the top of the globe has become about 40 percent thinner than it was two to four decades ago, scientists have found after analyzing data collected by nuclear submarines plying the Arctic Ocean.
Within the next two decades, global warming could cause a complete shutdown of one of the two main pumps driving the formation of the North Atlantic Deep Water - causing a shutdown in Labrador Sea convection and the Labrador Current, which could, in turn trigger a large-scale Rapid Climate Change Event, according to a commentary and a new report in the journal Nature. The findings, according to a commentary, should be interpreted as a warning that a regional shut-down of convection could occur, and occur soon.
Coastal Louisiana is literally sinking into the sea, giving the rest of North America an alarming glimpse of what may lie in store in the 21st century. Since 1930, an area 50 percent bigger than Rhode Island has returned to the sea in Louisiana and another Rhode Island-sized patch could go in the next 50 years.
Rising global temperatures are impacting ocean ecosystems to a far greater extent than previously acknowledged. From the tropics to the poles, wide-spread changes in marine life are occurring in step with rising water temperatures. New evidence shows dramatic impacts arriving sooner than predicted.
Marine diseases are escalating dramatically, according to surveys of coral, starfish, sea grasses, seals, sponges and other organisms, and in many cases the increase is being driven by warming.
The southern half of the Greenland ice sheet, the second largest expanse of land-bound ice earth after Antarctica, has shrunk substantially in the last five years. Experts have said for some time that a warming atmosphere has caused many mountain glaciers around the world to shrink. But until now, they have not known what was happening to the Greenland ice cap.The new findings, reported in the March 5, 1999 issue of the journal Science, provide the first precise evidence that it, too, is diminishing.
Rising global sea levels are killing cabbage palms and other coastal trees in Florida due to saltwater exposure as sea water pushes up through water tables.
Two ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula known as the Larsen B and Wilkins are in "full retreat" and have lost nearly 3,000 square kilometers of their total area in the last year. Researchers attribute the retreats to a regional warming trend which has caused the annual melt season to increase by two to three weeks over the last 20 years. Satellite photos monitored by NSIDC show that the Larsen B ice shelf has continued to crumble after an initial small retreat in spring 1998. In a series of events that began in November 1998, an additional 1,714 square kilometers of shelf area caved away.
Since the early 1970s scientists have observed a steady decline in the extent of the Arctic sea-ice cover, which is disappearing at a rate of approximately 3% each decade. Furthermore, other, less complete records of Arctic sea-ice suggest that the decline in extent has been continuous since mid-century. Even with this trend, the 1990s have seen four summers in which the aerial extent of Arctic sea-ice was the smallest ever observed. While the reduction in ice extent is unequivocal, changes in thickness are also apparent, but more ambiguous. During a year-long experiment in the Arctic in 1998, the thickest ice floe found for the purposes of setting up an ice station was only 60% of the average (not even maximum) sea-ice thickness anticipated.
For reasons no one understands -- although global warming is a top suspect -- the Grand Banks shipping lanes, which are located southeast of Newfoundland, were an ice-free zone.For the first time in 85 years, the International Ice Patrol (IIP) issued not a single bulletin reporting lurking bergs.
The surface waters of the eastern Pacific have warmed by 2 degrees in the last 20 years -- independent of El Nino events. That has led to a 70 percent decline in the population of zooplankton, a five percent decline in fish populations, the wholesale death of seals and sea lions, and a 90 percent decline in the population of a species of sea bird
El Nino conditions might settle in almost permanently if global warming gets bad enough, making climate disruptions such as droughts or excessive winter rain the norm, a computer study suggests.