The rising ocean temperature should be alarming to everyone. This is by no means a new event, but rather one that has been discussed numerous times over the years. The ocean absorbs more than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. This temperature increase is a gradual process and its indirect effects are not immediately apparent, so few people recognize it as an urgent issue.
Rising ocean temperature affects both organisms in water and on land, which means that humans have every reason to care. There have been many proposals and ideas for short and long-term solutions to combat rising ocean temperatures or climate change in general. An increase in the ocean temperature each year should be an alert to people because it affects the natural life surrounding them, ultimately affecting them in the end. It is essential to implement new policies or make changes to existing policies to better enhance the quality of nature and wildlife.
According to Lijing Cheng, an associate professor with the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in the past 25 years, the ocean has absorbed enough heat to equal the amount of 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions. The upper layer of the ocean temperature is increasing about 24% faster than it did a few decades ago. This is important to note, as the upper layer is the area where a lot of marine organisms dwell. An increase in ocean temperature can do a lot of damage to these organisms since they are sensitive to even a slight change in temperature.
These marine organisms face severe consequences such as higher mortality rates, loss of breeding grounds, coral bleaching and marine disease outbreak. These consequences have dual impacts because they also affect humans. For instance, these higher mortality rates and the loss of breeding grounds will result in the loss of an important source of nutrition, as 4.3 billion people obtain about 15% of their animal protein from fish. Likewise, many people make their living through fisheries and aquaculture. Rising temperatures may soon result in many people losing their jobs.
Coral bleaching is also noteworthy, as coral reefs protect coastlines from erosion and sea-level rise. Loss of corals from coral bleaching directly impacts the corals, but it can also impact people. As the population of corals decline, sea levels will rise and this will lead to destruction of houses, therefore displacing people and forcing them to find a new place to live. There are other consequences that can be hard to link directly, such as having more severe hurricanes and El Nino events causing droughts and floods. Rising ocean temperatures create areas called hotspots in the oceans and these hotspots are powerful fuel for storms like hurricanes. Many experts believe that warmer oceans will intensify and speed up storms in the future. Also, there is a higher chance of wildfires. For instance, wildfires in 2019 like the one in the Amazon, California and Australia occurred as a result of global warming. Experts said that drier areas will become drier whereas wetter areas will become wetter. The impacts on both humans and marine organisms resulting from an increase in ocean temperatures should bring people together as a whole to combat this crisis.
There are many different ways to combat both the rising ocean temperature and climate change. Experts have proposed a number of short and long-term solutions. For starters, society must make an effort to start utilizing energy-efficient technologies. This would be especially efficient because the energy society uses to power, cool and heat houses and businesses contributes directly to global warming.
Another solution might be regulating and preventing any human activities that leads to environmental destruction. Because about 30% of the world’s heat trapping emissions come from tropical deforestation and agriculture, regulating human activities would significantly help reduce the rate at which global warming is occuring.
Humanity has an obligation to help maintain life on Earth. As inhabitants of this planet, people must take action and address these rising temperatures. Too many people believe that climate change and the rise in ocean temperature won’t affect them, but these temperature changes will ultimately change the way they live their lives irrevocably. People should make an effort to help improve lives on Earth before it is too late.