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How Climate Change Affect The Color of Sea Water

by Yoga Adi Priambodo

The climate change is not a new thing. Since the industrial era started in the 70’s, climate change became a number one issue. Global warming resulting in climate change, resulting in more worsened weather condition that we all can feel today. Natural disasters become more frequent, affecting the life on the ground, and under the ocean. The change in overall Earth’s temperature included as one of the factors affecting weather and climate condition. Not only the air is warmer, but also the water. Warmer water mostly lead to bad things, including the phenomenon we known as ocean warming. Ocean warming is still happening today, and it doesn’t show any sign of stoping. Regular activities resulting in large amount of emission don’t show any sign of stoping either. The disastrous effects of global warming on ocean temperatures, which affecting many lives, can’t be stopped.

One of the effect, even though seems to be simple, is the change in ocean color. The natural colors of blue and green ocean, would likely to change in the future due to the climate change. This change in color is caused by a small organism. Small, but always needed in the ecosystem. What and how this thing can affect the whole ocean? And how climate change affect the color of sea water? Let’s see it below.

1. The life of Phytoplankton

 So here it is the life of Phytoplankton. It’s small, really small, but always needed. There are some effects of sea surface warming on marine plankton. Those effects make some kind of a line that will affect the other lives under the sea as well. However, the phytoplankton covers the whole area of a sea. It’s the organism that change the color of the ocean. Due to the ocean warming, species of phytoplankton will start to adapt. Most species that already adapted to colder water, would eventually die because a change in the ocean temperature. For the ones that can adapt in warmer condition? They will thrive. Some species could also move to the other areas as well.

With a concerning conditio of ocean warming, scientists made a model that can reflect the sea surface condition when the temperature rises about 3 degree celcius. The result shows that some ocean are bluer, and the other are greener, based on the phytoplankton concentration. Seas that show bluer color are having less phytoplaknton, while greener seas have a high concentration of phytoplankton.The study lead author, Stephanie Dutkiewicz said that this model shows how change in color of the ocean as an early warning sign.

2. Interupted Food Chain

One of the importance of marine phyto is to be a base of the food chain. Dutkiewicz confirmed it by saying that phytoplankton are the base of marine food web. By that, everthing that lives in the sea always requires this organism. Let say if the phytoplankton concentration is reduced in specific region, this will cause in loss populations of smaller fishes. They can’t survive without foods. And if their foods gone, so are they. Predators may also affected by reducing numbers of smaller fishes. Most of them would suffer from hunger, and eventually die. This condition could be worse throgh some period of time. Lots and lots species will be gone. All because how important the phytoplankton are.

3.  Blue seas will be bluer, Green seas will be greener

One function of all functions of the phyto is showing the color of the ocean. Giving the scientists an idea what’s going on with the sea condition. The model that revealed before shows the change in color of the sea, taken by sattelite. NASA said that when the sun light hits the water surface, it would likely to be reflected back. But, most the lights will also able to go below the surface, making it possible to the ocean colors. Dutkiewicz later on explained that the scientists can actually get more information about the seas condition based on the phytoplankton concentration to determine the effect of climate change.

4. The colors can’t be seen with naked eyes

Even though the sattelite can show a glimpse of changes in color of the ocean, the actual colors can actually be seen only with a special instrument. It’s also said by Dutkiewicz that we can’t see it with naked eyes. Even though it requires a long time to determine the effects of climate change to the ocean, they consider this change in color could become an early sign of how climate change affect the color of sea water.

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