A team of scientists from Northwestern University found that global warming by 2100 will change up to 95% of the surface of the oceans.
The ocean’s surface climate has a characteristic temperature, acidity and concentration of aragonite, a mineral that many marine animals use to form bones and shells. The vast majority of marine life are used to these conditions. But as CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere, the climate on the ocean’s surface can change.
The authors of the new work used models of the global climate of the oceans according to which they predicted two scenarios for the development of events:
- First, the peak in greenhouse gas emissions will occur by 2050 and will continue to decline until the end of the century,
- Second, emissions will continue to rise over the next 80 years.
The first scenario showed that 36% of the surface of all oceans will not change in any way until the 21st century, but by 2100, the habitat conditions will completely change on this percentage of the territory. In an extreme scenario, 95% of the surface of the oceans will immediately become unsuitable for the life of marine species.
These changes mean that the surface of the oceans will no longer be suitable for marine life. Marine life, which exists closer to the surface, adapts to climate change by moving lower, but research suggests that their options may be limited in the future due to almost uniform warming and acidification of the water.
Ultimately, the researchers note, this can only be stopped if the emissions that heat the ocean stop.