A long-term, increasingly warming pool of water in the northeast Pacific was recently discovered by a team of researchers from Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence CLICCS.
A long-term, increasingly warming pool of water in the northeast Pacific was recently discovered by a team of researchers from Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence CLICCS. It measures three million square kilometers, resulted from increased anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, and is conducive to extreme heatwaves in the northeast Pacific.
In a study just released in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, Dr. Armineh Barkhordarian confirms that this systematic warming pool is not the result of natural climatic variations – but of human influences instead. “This warming pool will continue to increase the water temperature in the future, increasing both the frequency and intensity of local marine heatwaves. "The sharp increase in average water temperature is pushing ecosystems to their limits,” explains Barkhordarian, an expert on atmospheric science and member of Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS).
Barkhordarian and her team show how the long-term warming pool has promoted local marine heatwaves in the past. One of these phenomena gained notoriety as the deadly “Pacific Ocean Blob,” which had devastating consequences between 2014 and 2015: marine productivity faltered, toxic algal blooms formed, and seabirds and marine mammals died in droves. In addition, the event led to severe droughts on the west coast of the USA.
Read more at University of Hamburg
Image: The image shows the increase of water temperature over the northeast Pacfic Ocean from 1996 to 2021 (Pacfic warming pool). The measurments are shown in °C per decade increase. The white counter represents the 2019-2021 marine heatwave co-located with the “warming pool”. (Credit: UHH/CLICCS/A. Barkhordarian)