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New study offers roadmap for detecting changes in the ocean due to climate change

19 August 2019

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Sea temperature and ocean acidification have climbed during the last three decades to levels beyond what is expected due to natural variation alone, a new study led by Princeton researchers finds.

Meanwhile other impacts from climate change, such as changes in the activity of ocean microbes that regulate the Earth's carbon and oxygen cycles, will take several more decades to a century to appear. The report was published 19 Aug. online in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The study looked at physical and chemical changes to the ocean that are associated with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide due to human activities. "We sought to address a key scientific question: When, why and how will important changes become detectable above the normal variations that we expect to see in the global ocean?" said Sarah Schlunegger, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University's Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS).

Source: Phys.org

Image credit: NASA - Images from NASA EarthData show ocean colour, an indicator of microbial productivity.