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What are marine heatwaves and are they happening more often?

09:17 AM Aug 21, 2023 IST | Ground Report
what are marine heatwaves and are they happening more often

Marine heatwaves are like heat waves in the ocean, and now they happen more frequently due to warming. The oceans trap heat from the air, causing high temperatures that last for a while. Causes include warmer air, less sea cooling, and warmer currents.

July 2023: Land, oceans broke heat records

Last month, July 2023, it set heat records on land and in the oceans. The oceans absorb heat from the air, causing long periods of very hot water known as marine heat waves, like heat waves in the sky.


These warmer times may be due to more warmth in the air, less cooling from the sea, or warmer water moving in currents. In the last 20 years these have increased, occurring all over the world, on the surface and at the bottom.

In particular, recent data shows the occurrence of marine heatwaves surged by 34 percent between 1925 and 2016.


Other times, warm currents bring hot water to new places. When this happens in certain places, the sea surface temperature rises rapidly, such as in the Tasman Sea in 2015.

Heat waves harm oceans, life, jobs

Marine life and coastal communities suffer when marine heat waves occur. It harms marine life and the places that depend on the sea for food and jobs. It damages ecosystems, causing mass deaths of creatures, changing where they live, and damaging things like coral reefs.


Fisheries, which are places where fish are caught, can be severely affected. Fish can die or disappear, causing problems for the people who depend on them. Marine heat waves can also create tension between countries or damage the fish farming industry.

Predicting marine heat waves is tricky. They are not like heat waves in the sky, because they depend on the changing characteristics of the ocean. But scientists are working to better predict them by looking at larger weather patterns. They use computer models to guess when these hot spells might occur, even under the sea.


Scientists work together and use sophisticated technology to predict marine heat waves. This helps fishing and the environment. When they know it's coming, they can manage the fishery, set rules, and protect ocean areas. With better predictions, we can help oceans and communities deal with these hot spells.

As the climate changes, we must take care of our oceans. Predicting marine heat waves is important so that people and nature can be prepared. By understanding them and acting together, we can protect our oceans for the future.


This content is originally published under the Creative Commons license by 360info™. The Ground Report editorial team has made some changes to the original version.

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