Climate Change will change the color of the oceans

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According to a study, the range of colors of the oceans will be affected as a result of climate change

Climate Change will change the color of the oceans

It is usually believed that the blue color of the oceans is due to the fact that they reflect the color of the sky. However, this belief is wrong according to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that explains that water molecules in sufficient quantities absorb the sun's rays and break it down, like a prism, reflecting the blue spectrum and that is the color what we perceive.

Leer en español: El Cambio Climático cambiará el color de los océanos

By absorbing sunlight, the water can also reflect green tones, that will depend, according to NOAA experts, on other objects on which the light can 'bounce off', such as algae and sediments. For the purpose of discussing the study, it is important to remember that phytoplankton perform the process of photosynthesis producing chlorophyll.


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According to Stephanie Dutkiewicz, principal investigator of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences of the MIT and principal author of the study that states that in the near future the oceans will change color. The green tonalities of the sea are mainly due to the amount of phytoplankton present in the water, and the alteration of the presence of these microorganisms in certain areas of the planet will generate the variation in the coloration of the oceanic waters.

The Global Warming, which generates as a consequence what we know as Climate Change, is causing the ocean currents to change drastically. In this way, phytoplankton will be scarce in subtropical areas near the equator.

This will make our eyes perceive the water of the sea much more blue, while in the Arctic and Antarctic regions will concentrate large amounts of this immense network of microorganisms, which will make the sea literally green.

What are the implications of the displacement of phytoplankton?

This network of organisms considered by scientists as "primary producers", are the basis of the entire trophic network, what we know as the "food chain".


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Phytoplankton, according to the scientist Eduardo Suárez PhD., of the Autonomous University of Mexico, states that "phytoplankton is consumed by herbivore zooplankton or primary consumers, these, in turn, are predated by secondary consumers or carnivores, such as jellyfish, and Euphausiacea better known as krill. A second group of carnivores, represented by beings of greater size, mainly fish, is that of the tertiary consumers and thus the different levels are joined successively, until reaching the major predators".

In such a way that if the amounts of phytoplankton in the oceans is altered in one way or another, the rest of the food chain will be transformed in the same way. In the absence of this microorganism, the zooplankton will not have to feed and the quantities will also decrease and with them the Krill which is the main food of barbel whales, seals, penguins, squid and various species of fish.

It should be noted that according to various scientific studies, each year the photosynthetic organisms fix in the form of organic matter around 100,000 million tons of carbon. They act as 'carbon sinks', without them, the accumulation of this greenhouse gas (GHG), will be dramatic, contributing to an accelerated warming of the Earth's atmosphere, generating the resurgence of Climate Change.


LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño
Translated from "El Cambio Climático cambiará el color de los océanos"