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13 Main Causes of Rising Ocean Temperatures

by Fitriani

We all know that the main component of the ocean is the ocean water. The ocean water is a source of life for the marine creatures. It also maintains the overall temperature of the earth’s climate. While doing all that, the ocean tries very hard to maintain its own water temperature. But can ocean temperature rise? It definitely can and we will tell you how. Below are the 13 Causes of Rising Ocean Temperatures along with the effects.

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1. Changing Climate

One of the causes in the rising ocean temperature is the changing climate. A change in climate means that the ocean’s natural function to maintain its temperature is disturbed. The ocean water will mostly adjust its temperature to cope with the climate.

2. Global Warming

Global warming is basically the heating up of the overall climate in the Earth. On land, it may cause the weather to become hotter. But there is also global warming in ocean.The same situation also applies to the ocean water. The ocean water will receive the negative impact from global warming.

3. Increase in Carbon Dioxide

Each year, there is an increasing amount of carbon dioxide released into the air. The air that gets contaminated with the carbon dioxide will affect the ocean too. Ocean water has the natural ability to absorb the gases in the air. As it absorbs carbon dioxide, the temperature of the ocean increases.

4. El Nino

El Nino is a severe climate condition that can potentially increase the ocean water. The temperature of the ocean is able to rise up between 3 to 5 degrees when El Nino happens. Read how to prevent El Nino so you can play a part in preventing the rising ocean temperature.

5. La Nina

La Nina functions in the same way as El Nino. It is also able to raise the sea temperature up to 6 degrees. La Nina is a weather fluctuation in the climate that affects the atmospheric pressure. Those two work together and cause an increase in the temperature. You can learn about other effects of La Nina too.

6. Cars

Cars release harmful gases due to the fossil fuels that they use. When there are a lot of people using cars on land, these gasses end up in the air. The air then travels down over the ocean. The ocean will receive these toxic gasses and damages the ocean’s ability to maintain its normal temperature.

7. Water Pollution

Water pollution is a highly serious condition where the ocean water can get affected too. The polluted water from the rivers in the people’s home can flow right into the ocean. This majorly cause ocean acidification and ocean pollution  but it can also cause the temperature of the ocean to rise as a negative reaction to the pollution.

8. Solar Irradiance

Solar irradiance is simply the sunlight from the sun that enters the atmosphere in the world. Once the light enters the atmosphere, it goes straight into the ocean water. The light cause a rise in the ocean temperature because of the radiation it carries from the sun.

9. Poor Ocean Condition

Poor ocean condition can heavily cause a rise in the ocean temperature. The ocean has to always be in a good state so that it can carry out its natural function of maintaining normal temperature. When the ocean becomes unhealthy, it also becomes vulnerable. The ocean will most likely experience a slight fluctuation in the temperature.

10. Home Appliances

Using too many unnecessary home appliance can indirectly cause rising ocean temperature. These home appliances need energy in the form of electricity to function. The electricity is generated through fossil fuels that end up damaging the ocean.

11. Trapped Heat 

There are so many trapped heat in the air because the gases cannot find their way out of the earth.  This is considered as the Greenhouse Effect. The trapped heat reflects back to the ocean water, thus increasing its temperature.

12. Downwelling Current

Downwelling current is when the cold water goes right under the warm water. This leaves the surface of the ocean to be warmer. As a result, the temperature of the ocean will easily rise a bit high than the average. Learn more about the types of ocean current as well as the impact of ocean currents to have a deeper understanding how currents impact the ocean’s temperature.

13. Melting Sea Ice Sheet

Sea ice sheet has the ability to reflect off the light that enters the earth’s atmosphere. The ocean water is protected by the ice sheet. However, melting sea ice sheet means less protection. Light can easily penetrate through water and cause a rise in the ocean temperature.

Effects from Rising Ocean Temperatures

You already know the causes now it is time to know the effects from rising ocean temperature which you can read below:

  • Stronger Storms: Warmer oceans means stronger storms in the future. Different types of ocean storms such as hurricanes and cyclones feed off warm temperature. They gain their energy from ocean’s warmth.
  • Higher Sea Level: As the ocean becomes hotter and hotter, it will spread out and cause a higher sea level. Rising ocean temperature is one of the causes of sea level rise.
  • Melting Ice: An increase in the ocean temperature will cause the ice in the ocean to melt at a faster rate than ever before.
  • Destruction of Ocean Habitat: Some habitat are vulnerable to ocean temperature such as coral reefs. Annually, many coral reefs experience bleaching due to rising temperature in the ocean.
  • Death to Marine Creatures: Both marine animals and plants are at a very high risk of death when they experience a rise in the ocean temperature. They are highly sensitive to the slight changes in ocean’s condition. The destruction of ocean habitat due to warm ocean can also kill them off.
  • Loss of Land: Many lands used for human settlements and recreations will no longer exist due to warmer ocean temperature. As said before, warm temperature causes water to expand. All the water will take up most of the land that human use.

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The best way to help maintain the ocean temperature is by helping the health of the ocean in good state. If the ocean temperature continues to increase then the future of both humans and marine creatures will be in grave danger.

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