Marine Heatwaves

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The Impact They Have on Our Oceans. Marine Heatwaves.

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What is a Marine Heatwave. Like heatwaves on land, a Marine heatwave occurs when unusual temperatures are present in the ocean. The marine heatwaves have periods of extreme warm sea surface temperature that can last for days to months. The marine heatwaves effect ecosystems and destroy kelp forests. Scientists have predicted marine heatwaves will increase under global warming..

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What Causes Marine Heatwaves. When warmer than usual weather occurs, it weakens the winds that keep the top layer of the ocean cool. High pressure dampens the winds that help keep the sea cool through evaporation. As the climate continues to warm there will be more MHWs that occur..

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The Blob. "The Blob" in 2013 a mysterious pool of warm water showed up on the coast of Alaska. It eventually made its way down the Pacific Coast. As a result of the skyrocketing ocean temperatures in the region, the blob created the most harmful Algal blooms on the coast. The blooms lasted longer than usual, and many sea lions,seals, and marine organisms died. It forced most of the Pacific Fishing industry to shut down and put a strain on the marine food chain..

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IS Climate Change Responsible for MHWS?. MHWS are a natural part of our climate system. However, scientists have determined through long-term data that human-caused warming has largely affected the more frequent and more extreme heatwave events. https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/scientists-identify-climate-change-as-major-contributor-to-record-breaking-marine-heatwave.