We Are Walking Blindly Into An Ecological Disaster That We Can't Fight
The oceans are about to take a beating like never before.
We used to think that climate disasters were something that wouldn’t happen for decades. This misguided notion of our self-made apocalypse being “over the horizon” has allowed for misinformation, indecision, and inaction to proliferate over the past few years, driving us closer to this doomed horizon. But we are already well past the point of feeling the climate crisis’ effects. You see, the nightmare has already begun, and we are soon to feel its monstrous bite. Over the past few weeks, scientists have discovered telltale signs of global environmental and ecological ruin brewing in the ocean. What’s worse, we are past the point of no return, and we can’t stop this.
Over the past month, global sea surface temperatures have hit a record high. In fact, the ocean has warmed faster than scientists have ever seen. Sadly, we don’t yet know why this is happening, but the warming itself isn’t the problem. The real problem is that we are about to enter El Niño, a natural cyclical climate event that will take these already hot waters and push them even hotter. As such, experts are predicting that by the end of the year, ocean temperatures could reach extremely concerning levels.
Firstly, what is El Niño? Well, El Niño and El Niña are two ends of the world’s most extensive cyclical climate system. Due to complex interactions between the atmosphere and ocean, every few years we switch from El Niña, where the ocean temperatures are cooler than average, to El Niño, where they are hotter than average.
Right now, despite these record-high temperatures, we are in El Niña and have been for a while. The problem is that meteorologists predict we will enter El Niño in the coming months. When we do, even more heat will be pumped into the oceans, sending their already high temperatures much higher — at least as far as the environment and climate are concerned.
While El Niño and El Niña are primarily felt in the Pacific, their effects are experienced worldwide. This is because all the world’s oceans and environments are closely interlinked, with the Pacific acting as a major hub connecting many of them, given that the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, Asia, and Australasia seas all border the Pacific. As such, scientists expect nearly all of the world’s oceans to warm dramatically during this upcoming El Niño.
So, how will record-high ocean temperatures affect the world?
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