The average temperature of the ocean surface is around 17 degree Celcius. However, scientists have observed an increase. In the coming years, there’s a high possibility that the ocean will become warmer. To learn more about the factors that cause the ocean to be that way, here are the 15 Causes of Increase in Ocean Temperature.
But why does the temperature of the ocean matters so much? Well, apart from the fact that the ocean massively controls the climate of the world, the ocean is an ecosystem that we have to care for.
Effects of Increasing Ocean Temperature
These are the concerning effects of increasing ocean temperature that you should know.
- Marine Species Extinction: High temperature can cause diseases and invasive species to thrive, leading to extinction of some species.
- Disrupt Ocean Conveyor Belt: This will contribute to climate changes.
- Rising Sea Level: As ocean water gets hotter, it expands. This may cause loss of various habitats.
- Extreme Storms: Storms will become stronger than ever before as they feed on heat.
To understand the causes that would lead to these effects, continue reading below:
1. Loss of Ice Sheet
As the ocean temperature increases, it speeds up the melting process of ice sheet. The ocean needs ice sheet as a way to protect itself. Without it, light that comes through from the sun will have more chance to reach the ocean water. This means that the water will absorb more radiation that increases the temperature.
2. Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect has a heavy influence on global warming. When global warming becomes worse, the climate will begin to warm up. The ocean is affected too and warms up as well. Learn more about the Effects of Greenhouse so that you can help to reduce it.
3. Coral Bleaching
The corals that are present in the ocean are an ecosystem that keeps the ocean healthy. Without it, the balance that has been maintained in the ocean for so long will be gone. This will make the ocean to become sick and unable to deal with the factors that cause the temperature to rise.
Even though there are strict rules and regulations for how industries should manage their carbon output, they are not entirely effective. Many industries are still breaking the rules. This will only add up the release of harmful carbon in the atmosphere.
5. Carbon Dioxide
There is an overwhelming amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Where does it all go? Well most of it is actually absorbed by the ocean. The carbon is stored in the deep. Though it is how the ocean functions, too much carbon dioxide will certainly cause major changes in the temperature.
Also read: Effects Ocean Pollution Human Health
6. Car Fumes
This particular one is focused more on cars that still run on fossil fuels. The toxic fumes that cars release include carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. They can harm people’s health but it will also ruin the condition of the ocean as it absorbs the dangerous fumes.
See more: Functions of the Oceans
Acidification is when the pH of the ocean becomes acidic. In fact, there are even Levels of Ocean Acidification. A well known cause of this is carbon dioxide. Dissolved carbon dioxide in the ocean water ruins its chemistry. Acidification can make the ocean becomes sick, which can cause increase in ocean temperature.
8. Polluted Water
Polluted water from land will flow to the ocean and end up there. The polluted water will act as poison to the ocean water as it contains highly toxic chemicals. It makes the ocean to be unhealthy and destroys habitat. The temperature in the ocean will eventually rise.
9. Waste in Ocean
One of the glaring causes of increase in ocean temperature is waste. Specifically plastic waste. When plastic degrades in the ocean water, they become micro plastics. Some may even leach toxic chemicals into the water. This will disable the ocean to maintain its temperature. This is why the Impacts of Ocean Dumping should be taken very seriously by everyone.
10. Migrating Species
According to scientists, migrating species are contributing to the increasing temperature as well. They found out that many warm water species move to cold areas. Meanwhile, the cold water species choose to go to warmer oceans. This affects the nature and the temperature of the ocean with cold water.
The downwelling current can cause the temperature of the ocean to rise. As the warm water from the deep ocean comes up, the cooler water sinks. This will reduce the cool temperature that the ocean had.
12. Household Appliances
The household appliances that you use are also the reasons why global warming is becoming worse. For instance, your lights or your refrigerator need to run on electricity. The things that generate the electricity will increase toxic gases to the Greenhouse Effect and harm the ocean.
13. Stored Heat
Heat from the Greenhouse gases are stored in the ocean. This is a good thing but it also acts like a time bomb. Apparently, this heat is already reaching into other deeper parts of the ocean water. The stored heat will affect the increase in ocean temperature.
See more: Effects about Layers of the Ocean
14. La Nina
La Nina is an ocean phenomenon but its impacts are wide. It can give a significant rise to the temperature of the ocean. Apparently, the temperature in the ocean could experience an additional 6 degrees when La Nina occurs.
15. El Nino
Other than La Nina, El Nino can also raise the temperature in the ocean. But unlike La Nina, El Nino could increase the temperature up to 5 degrees. This is why the impact of El Nino is becoming more severe over the years.
Studies are still conducted to learn more about the causes of increase in ocean temperature and its impacts. In the meantime, we can all work towards keeping the ocean clean and healthy to support it.