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 - 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

A Look at the Crazy Things Oregon Coast Sand Levels Can Do
Over the course of the year, sand levels rise and fall. Geology
Washington Coast Opens Up Six-Day Razor Clam Digs Jan. 21
Fans of clams and the Washington coast are in for a treat this week
Oregon Coast Passes Snow Advisories; Frost, Wind Warning on South Coast
A winter weather advisory for the coast range pass highways and the southern Oregon coast has a frost advisory and a high wind warning
Getting the Message to Oregon Coast Storm Watchers: Why It's Not Working
The disregard for beach safety messages on the Oregon coast was gut wrenching and frustrating. South Coast, Washington coast
Some Snow, Winter Advisories for Portland, S. Washington, Oregon Coast Range
The higher elevations of the Oregon Coast Range are already seeing about an inch of accumulation. South coast
Oregon Coast Road Work, Delays at Astoria, Cannon Beach
Road and bridge work on the north Oregon coast will be causing some delays for residents and travelers
Oregon Coast Storm Roundup: Wild Videos, Waves Turn Deadly
Saturday's storm action produced some astounding video and images, but it also proved deadly for one group. South coast
New Surf Warnings for Oregon Coast; What's Closed Down, Video
28 to 35-ft waves breaking onshore, some beach closures

Back to Oregon Coast

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

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details