Atlantic Ocean at its Hottest in 3000 Years, Scientists Warn of Storms and Mass Extinction
The average global temperature has been rising at a frightening pace for the past couple of years, and it has affected all ecosystems severely, including the oceans. The oceans have undergone many obnoxious changes owing to global warming and changing climatic patterns. Recently, a study has discovered that the Atlantic Ocean has been experiencing its hottest decade in nearly three full millennia.
Ocean temperatures usually rise and fall in a cyclical pattern over decades and even take centuries to complete such cycles. But the recent increases in temperatures are beyond the natural pattern. The latest shifts in the Atlantic Ocean’s temperatures reflect the possibility of severe storm seasons and mass extinction events; and unfortunately, it will only get worse.
Scientists from universities in the US and Canada, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Quebec, tracked the Atlantic’s fluctuating temperature back to about 2,900 years by studying sediment cores in the Canadian Arctic, which fluctuate along with the temperature.
According to the recorded data and analyses of past weather conditions, the longest and most persistent drop in sea surface temperatures was during the “Little Ice Age” between about 1300 and 1870. In the last few decades, the pace of warm conditions has escalated significantly.
Temperatures have steadily increased since the 15th century minimum; the rate and magnitude of warming over the last few centuries are unprecedented in the entire record, leading to the last decade which was the warmest in the past 2,900 years.
The study stated, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To better understand these changes and the link between the findings at South Sawtooth Lake and Atlantic sea surface temperatures, the scientists compared other evidence from across the North Atlantic.
It was noted that other sediment cores of about the past two centuries, collected off the south coast of Iceland, provided clues as to what was happening over a shorter time period. The data showed that turborotalita quinqueloba – a miniscule, shelled, single-celled organism, which likes cold waters, has been declining at an accelerating rate during the past century and has reached unprecedented low values in the last decade.
Overall, while it is evident that natural factors have played a role in these changes, the human contribution to climate change can certainly not be denied. Various recent studies have confirmed that ocean temperatures have increased drastically in past years and will continue to do so – consequently, melting ice caps and glaciers, killing coral reefs, and decimating many other marine species.
Even if huge reductions in carbon emissions are made today, it is hardly possible to stop the rising oceanic temperatures; but, it is never too late to make amends to slow down the catastrophic repercussions of these climatic changes that are to befall the planet.