Deep Oceans Will Get Warmer,
Even in the Best Case Scenario
Earth's ocean could be experiencing rates of climate change seven times higher than levels today by the second half of the century.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Earth's oceans could be experiencing rates of climate change seven times higher than levels today by the second half of the century, even if greenhouse gas emissions drop significantly, according to a report published in Nature Climate Change.
A team of international scientists analyzed present and future models of climate velocity. This is the speed at which marine animals would have to move in order to live in waters with certain temperatures as different ocean layers become warmer.
Scientists then used climate models to estimate climate velocity rates today in three different scenarios: One scenario is where greenhouse gas emissions start falling from now; another is in which emissions would begin to fall in the middle of this century; and the final scenario is one where emissions would continue to rise up to 2100.
However, even in the scenario where emissions would start declining now, climate velocity in the ocean's layer that covers from 200 meters deep up to 1 kilometer down — what is known as the mesopelagic layer — would change from about 6 kilometers per decade to 50 kilometers by mid-century. Conversely, in the same period, climate velocity rate would halve on the ocean's surface level.
Anthony Richardson of the University of Queensland and one of the study's authors told The Guardian, 'This means that marine life in the deep ocean will face escalating threats from ocean warming until the end of the century, no matter what we do now.'
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