© Alan Jamieson / Newcastle University The Atlantic, 27.02.2019, Author: Ed Yong Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized...
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The Guardian, 04.03.2019, Author: Damian Carrington
The number of heatwaves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest”.
The damage caused in these hotspots is also harmful for humanity, which relies on the oceans for oxygen, food, storm protection and the removal of climate-warming carbon dioxide the atmosphere, they say.
Global warming is gradually increasing the average temperature of the oceans, but the new research is the first systematic global analysis of ocean heatwaves, when temperatures reach extremes for five days or more.
The research found heatwaves are becoming more frequent, prolonged and severe, with the number of heatwave days tripling in the last couple of years studied. In the longer term, the number of heatwave days jumped by more than 50% in the 30 years to 2016, compared with the period of 1925 to 1954.
As heatwaves have increased, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs have been lost. These foundation species are critical to life in the ocean. They provide shelter and food to many others, but have been hit on coasts from California to Australia to Spain.
“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” said Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK, who led the research published in Nature Climate Change. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.” […]
The entire article can be found here.
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/international