Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Oregon Coast Scientists Warn Warming Ocean Temps May Create Chaos

Published 02/23/2017 at 4:49 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Scientists Warn Warming Ocean Temps May Create Chaos

(Newport, Oregon) – 20 of the world's leading oceanographic researchers today released new evidence indicating how warming ocean temperatures around the globe will create some chaotic changes in that habitat by the year 2100. The deep ocean floor may see starvation and devastating ecological changes by the end of this century, and this will in turn have difficult implications for the rest of the planet.

Among those researchers who were part of the study were Andrew Thurber, an Oregon State University marine ecologist and co-author. This facility does much of its work through the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, on the central Oregon coast. The study's findings were published this week in the journal Elementa.

Thurber said warming ocean temperatures result in the increase of acidification and the spread of low-oxygen zones – something the Oregon coast has already dealt with in the last decade with the notorious “dead zones” that appeared periodically. But it's the biodiversity of all the ocean's deeper depths that are at stake, from 200 to 6,000 meters below the surface.

These ecosystems are only now being understood in how they affect the “functioning of the planet,” Thurber said. The threat begins with less food dropping to the bottom for the creatures that live there, and that at the very least will create enormous problems in the fishing industry. The numerous Earth models researchers used to make projections also pointed to difficulties with the oceans' ability to offset growing amounts of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.

“Biodiversity in many of these areas is defined by the meager amount of food reaching the seafloor and over the next 80-plus years - in certain parts of the world - that amount of food will be cut in half,” Thurber said.

Some species will migrate, others will die, while still some others will thrive.

Projections saw the seafloor temperatures increasing by as much as four degrees Celsius in some areas.

“While four degrees doesn’t seem like much on land, that is a massive temperature change in these environments,” Thurber said. “It is the equivalent of having summer for the first time in thousands to millions of years.”

Thurber and the other scientists pointed out these regions cover about half the planet.

Pointing to the massive die-off of Dungeness crab off the Oregon coast ten years ago, Thurber noted that was the result of a lack of oxygen rising closer to the surface. The same process could be accelerated in higher regions of the ocean around the world by 2100, killing off food for species there and below.

Andrew Sweetman, a researcher at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and lead author on the study, said this would result in a famine for much of the deep. This ecosystem is already in heavy competition for food sources that are scarce.

The first effect noticeable to humans would be the lack of fish. The North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and North and South Indian oceans would be hit the hardest. Next could be levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The North Atlantic and its currents would be especially affected by warmer temperatures, acidification and lower oxygen, as this area soaks up carbon from the atmosphere and then the currents distribute it further around the world.

“We think of the deep ocean as incredibly stable and too vast to impact, but it doesn’t take much of a deviation to create a radically altered environment,” Thurber said. Where to stay on the Oregon coast - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours. More on the Oregon coast below:









 

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Holiday Weekend Travel Advice, Weather, Waves, Roads
Mostly pleasant times but a few annoyances
Get Your Cameras Ready: It's Oregon Coast King Tides Time Again
Second round of this winter's King Tide Project and officials are asking the public to contribute photographs
Closures, Delays for Some Crabbing, Clamming, on Oregon Coast; Mussels Return
There are currently a complex round of closures, delays and reopenings for crabbing and mussel harvesting
Gargantuan Waves All Week on Oregon Coast; High Wind Warning Sun. Night
Look for high winds tonight along the Oregon coast as well as mammoth surf
Bizarre Finds on Oregon Coast: Pyrosomes, Dolphin, Deformed Velella, Freaky J...
Velella, a dolphin, weird jellyfish and even some live oysters. Science, kids, Seaside Aquarium, Warrenton
Central Oregon Coast Holidays: Newport's Boat Parade, Sea of Lights
Newport may have the most extravagant Christmas celebrations. Newport events
Oregon Coast Compendium of Fun: Yachats' Smelt Sands, 804 Trail, Spouting Horns
If you're heading there or need inspiration for something new to visit. travel tips, kids, geology
Special Glass Float Drop Over Holiday in Central Oregon Coast's Lincoln City
Mysterious Float Fairies will hide 100 extra glass art pieces to celebrate Thanksgiving. Lincoln City events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted