|← Protecting the Environment||Environmental Effects of Ocean Drilling →|
Climate change and global warming have immense effects on the oceans and mostly the marine ecosystem.
The oceans which account for over 70% of the earth's surface are critical for human survival. They produce and regulate most of the planet's oxygen and water. Also, they provide a substantial amount of the global nutrient cycling in addition to supporting most of the world's biological diversity. Moreover, they are an important food source to humans (Duncan, 387). The marine ecosystems ability to support and provide the important services is reducing at an alarming rate. The challenges have been aggravated by ocean acidification and also the climate change and these results in increased threats and susceptibility of the marine ecosystems and also the existing marine species.
The climate change and global warming is likely to affect the oceans both directly and indirectly. The impacts can touch on aspects such the ocean circulation and stratification where ocean circulation may be affected. The ocean circulation plays a vital role in the functioning of the earth's climate (Duncan, 388). The process is also essential in the redistribution of the solar energy that is usually absorbed by the water surface. Global warming will immensely affect the functioning and survival in the marine ecosystem.
The climate change and global warming also affects the ocean temperature. Normally the ocean socks up to 80% of excess heat generated as a result of green house effect and thus raising the ocean temperature. The rise in ocean temperature has led to various effects that are evident at the moment. Some of the repercussions include melting ice, the changes in polar systems, shift in the species distribution in the marine ecosystem, and shift in the weather models that has affected the rainfall patterns thus having deteriorating effects on the availability of the fresh waters, the food security component and extreme weather conditions such as floods and tropical storms (Duncan, 389). The other notable effects are coral bleaching and possible deaths and surfacing and multiplication of diseases.
Other components that are immensely affected by the climate change and global warming are related with the loss in polar ice, the rise in sea level due to the melting of the ice, ocean acidification as a result of increase in the levels of the carbon dioxide gases (Duncan, 390-2).