In my last blog, I talked about ocean acidification and its harms. Today, I will talk about the harms of warming oceans. According to NASA, the top 100 meters (about 328 feet) of the ocean show warming of more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.33 degrees Celsius) since 1969. There are many downsides to warming oceans, from melting ice to harming sea and animals.
The first side-effect of warming oceans is that warming oceans melt ice quicker. Ice shelves, the tongues of the glacier that stick out over the ocean, will melt and are melting because the warming water raises their temperature above their freezing point. This melting raises sea level, destroys habitats, further warms the earth, and so much more. We cannot let these ice shelves melt, so we must stop warming our oceans.
Another downside of warming oceans is that it messes up animal ecosystems. As waters warm, migratory animals have to shift their migrations to stay in the temperature water that best suits them. Non-migratory animals will die and just have to hope that their offspring drift far enough away to survive. Animals in arctic and antarctic habitats will have nowhere cold enough to go and will die because of the lack of habitat. All of these would be detrimental to life, on land and sea.
Warming oceans will also directly harm habitats on land because coastal and river habitats will heat up along with the ocean, and the same problems will occur as stated in the previous paragraph, just on land. These are only a handful of the horrors that will come with warming oceans. If paired with ocean acidification, there is no going back. We must stop burning fossil fuels and do everything we can to protect our oceans.
Photo taken by me.