NASA satellites show that more than half of Earth’s oceans are green due to climate change disturbing marine ecosystems.
Strange changes in the color of the oceans spurred investigations from scientists.
Satellite data shows that over the past 20 years, color shifts from blue to green have occurred in more than 56 percent of the world’s oceans. The changes are particularly evident in the tropics near the equator.
Researchers say this subtle greening of our oceans indicates the impact of climate change on life underwater.
Why does the ocean turn green?
NASA’s Modis-Aqua satellite captured a gradual shift from blue to mostly green tones in more than half of world oceans. The area that changed color is larger than the area of the entire land on Earth.
B.B. Kyle of the National Oceanography Center in Southampton, UK, and colleagues analyzed data from NASA and believe that green is a sign of changing ecosystems due to climate change.
What these shifts are and the exact cause is uncertain, but BB Cael says it’s likely related to creatures at the base of most food chains – phytoplankton. These organisms also play a vital role in the production of many oxygen We breathe and keep our atmosphere stable.
The study notes that “the effects of climate change are already being felt in the surface marine microbial ecosystem.”
Oceans changing color may indicate a larger problem
a change in colour of the ocean could reflect a change in the state of ecosystems, according to the study authors. Darker blue indicates less life while green tones indicate more phytoplankton activity.
Paints a picture of what is happening in the surface layers of water.
But a color Ocean It can change from year to year as surface chlorophyll levels vary greatly. It makes it difficult to distinguish whether the shift from blue to green is affected by climate change.
Scientists They thought it could take up to 40 years of observing the color of the ocean before they detected any trends. Different satellites also measure color changes in different ways, too. This means that data from each one cannot be combined very often.
To delve deeper into the changing colors in the ocean, a NASA mission called Pace is scheduled to launch in January 2024. It will observe plankton, aerosols, clouds, and the ocean ecosystem.