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Global Warming in Ocean Levels – Causes – Effects

by Dwi Purwaningsih

The general elevated temperature of the earth and atmosphere is called as global warming. The increased temperature affects many aspects on earth in which the heat change or invent new natural phenomenon. Global warming is an occurrence where the temperature of the earth rises above average and it affects globally. The heat results from the trapped gas that cannot escape the atmosphere due to several reasons.

Also read: Causes of Sea Level Rise

The ocean is no exception. There are certain signs that show the ocean is the most affected area because of global warming. When the ocean is involved, it does not mean the destructive effect is exclusive to ocean only as it is the nearest earth part from the mainland. Ocean levels are reported to rise significantly. What are the causes and what results from them? Here is the description of global warming in relation with ocean levels.


Here the information about the causes of global warming in ocean levels, as follows:

1. Fuel Emission

The first factor that contributes to global warming is fuel emission. Fossil fuel and natural activities released more wasted substances more than needed. The gases released get trapped inside the atmosphere and it causes the earth to be warmer than usual. Fuel emission contributes a lot as the number of vehicles used by population keeps increasing each year. This should be taken as a precaution not to use fossil fuel and motor vehicle too much.

2. Deforestation

Another major cause of global warming is deforestation. Deforestation in coast line includes the green environment that surrounds the coast. Deforestation occurs when humans take on logging is higher than the attempt of regenerate the plantation on the shore line.

Plantation produces oxygen that helps to cool down the temperature of the earth and absorb carbon dioxide. Not only it causes hotter temperature, it also weakens the land level foundation as not enough roots hold them in place.

3. Effects of Greenhouse

Greenhouse is a house that keeps plantation inside instead of letting them grow in their natural habitat. As the oxygen produced by the plants are trapped inside instead of gets released to the sky, it increases the earth’s temperature.

Greenhouse effect also applies to coast plantation reserve that does not let the greens to grow out but keep them enclosed in a glass house instead. This indirectly affects to ocean level as it contributes to rise of temperature that in result, contribute to ocean level rise.

4. Thermal Expansion

Thermal expansion occurs when the water heats up and expands. The heated water is caused by none other of global warming. this expansion starts from warmer sea and eventually reach the cooler one and expands the ocean level rise even more.

When the water expands, it also occupy more space, leading to problems that are not simply about increased height of the sea. (Related to Uses of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion).

5. Depleted Ozone Layer

Ozone layer is a layer in stratosphere that acts as shield to protect the earth from ultraviolet radiation. However, due to many harmful gases, there are many holes in the shield, causes the sun ray less filtered and more heat enters the earth. When the sun rays go unfiltered, there is more possibility for the melting ice and glacier that contributes to ocean level rise.

6. Harmful Gas

Some chemical in spray products have dangerous chemical that is not only toxic to environment but also indirectly affects global warming. a chemical like CFC can cause damage on ozone layer. Thinned ozone layer as mentioned before will let more sun rays enter the earth.

The heat cannot escape the atmosphere as there are more building and plantation. CFC and other chemical gases that can endanger the environment are banned already.


Beside causes, there is always effects that give a big impact to ocean environment, as follows:

1. Melting Glacier

The rise of temperature causes the glacier melts. Glacier can be found in the North Pole as part of the arctic cold area. Before then, its form as ice last longer than now. As the earth’s temperature rises, the glacier starts to melt. In the span of 80 years, the glacier melts twice as much as before. This is treated as an alarming sign as it is classified as abnormal growth of melts.

If the glacier melts, the melted water with join with the ocean water and increase ocean level. Apart from that, the temperature in North Pole that is preserved before is also in danger. As a result, some of the species also lose their habitat and they will have a hard time to adapt to the change of nature. That is how global warming affects ocean level.

2. Higher and Stronger Tides

When the ocean level rises, it means the volume of the sea is increased. Therefore, the water mass that gravitation can pull in forming tide is also greater. As a result, the tide occurring at the sea is higher and stronger compared to the usual ones. Higher tides means there are more water mass brought as the tide has higher chance to reach the shore. To know more about tide, read Causes of Ocean Tides Rise and Fall.

Thus, not only it will endanger people who sail on the sea that will be in risk of potential danger, the people on the mainland can also experience the danger unusually high tide expose. On the opposite, during the supposed lower tide, some salt farming industry will have a hard time to find the right time until the ocean level decreases.

3. Decreased Land Level

As the opposite of increasing ocean level, the land level decreases. The lower level of the land will be occupied with water instead. Some low islands may drowned in the sea and disappear. This occurrence is highly probable if the ocean level keep on rising because of global warming. Some small islands are already swallowed by the sea.

It is worse for the urban city whose land level is already in critical state. Every year, the densely populated urban area is in danger of disappearing into the sea. Some of the infrastructures are in danger of getting severely damaged in foundation if the sea water seept through the earth and weaken the roots in land.

4. Frequent Storm

Similar to the unusual tide, more frequent storm can also occurs. Global warming causes anomaly on climate that some seasons do not follow the same pattern as well. This results on more frequent storm since the circulation of the wind becomes unpredictable. You may want to read about Types of Ocean Storms.

Moreover, the rising of ocean level does not only create possibility of more frequent storm but also bigger ones.
During this period, a cyclone or hurricane can also occur. It is because the movement of heated air can collide with the calmer air. With this being a possible to occur often, it endangers fishermen who need to fish on the open sea as well as the people on mainland. Indeed, it is one of the effects of global warming on ocean level.

5. Threatened Coastal Communities

An interesting fact about human population is 40 percent of total population lives within 100 km reach of the nearest shore line. It means, humans are closer to the sea than they ever imagine. If global warming is uncontrollable and the ocean level keeps rising, it means the 40 percent of population is in the risk of getting drowned by the sea.

Moreover, there is chance for the ocean level rise to cause erosion and make a land lose the weight or width as water swallows the lower part of it. That is one of the result of global warming on sea level. Find out more about ocean level on Characteristics of Ocean Levels.

6. Saltwater Intrusion

When the ocean level rise because of global warming, there is possibility for saltwater to intrude and interfere with ground water supplies. The land has the ability to store water from rain. The water kept is generally fresh water. However, when saltwater intrusion occurs, the fresh water will turn salty and pose risk to human’s health. Salty water can cause dehydration, decrease the biodegradability of detergent, and many more.

Furthermore, many industries depend on the supply of fresh water and most of the water that does not need processed procedure. If the water no longer meets their criteria because of salt intrusion, many companies are also in danger in having to struggle with the business.

7. Increased Erosion

The rise of ocean level means the more water occupies the earth. Hence, erosion will happen more frequently as water volume reach more shore line. This can result in the weakened structure of sea walls, jetties, and the shore line. This will increase the possibility of land slide. In addition, the erosion will also take away the fertile ground in which plants usually grow.

If this happens, not only the erosion can reduce the width of a land but it also cause many unwanted effects such as dry soil and lost of plantation. It proves how serious the effect of global warming on ocean level is.

Global warming that affects the ocean level raised concern as sea plays crucial part in the life of the whole living being on earth. Therefore, as humans are the most party who contribute to global warming, it is best for us to reduce any activity that can cause global warming. indeed, global warming affects ocean levels and pose several dangers and risks.

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