By The End Of The Century Most Of Ocean Will Change Color

Christopher Davidson
February 7, 2019

They believe the different kinds of phytoplankton species living in the sea will change as oceans continue to warm, either dying off or multiplying as currents become more irregular and warm regions mix less easily with cold regions. The researchers also simulated the way phytoplankton absorb and reflect light, and how the ocean's color changes as global warming affects the makeup of phytoplankton communities.

Owing to climate change surface of the oceans will change colour by end of 21st century leading our blue planet to look visibly altered, finds a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Some areas near the poles that are greener now, may turn a deeper hue, as warmer temperatures brew up more diverse phytoplankton.

"Changes in community structure at the base of the marine food web may be the best marker of larger ecosystem shifts which could influence fisheries and carbon cycling", said Sonya Dyhrman, an expert on phytoplankton at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, who was not involved in the research released Monday. More algae means more green because their chlorophyll pigments - the ones that absorb sunlight for photosynthesis - absorb more of the blue end of the electromagnetic spectrum, and less of the green. As such, the ocean appears blue.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, Hickman and colleagues from the United Kingdom and USA report how they came to their conclusions by using a computer model that predicts how factors such as temperature, ocean currents and ocean acidity affects the growth and types of phytoplankton in the water, as well as levels of other coloured organic matter and detritus. However, this time they also gave the model the ability to estimate the specific wavelengths of light absorbed and reflected by the ocean, depending on the amount and type of organisms in a given region.

Dutkiewicz said chlorophyll does not necessarily have to reflect the sensitive signal of climate change.

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We all know that working to ease climate change is a hugely important issue, but along with the dire potential consequences of rising waters, extreme weather and droughts, climate change could have another interesting impact. However, any organisms living in the area will distort that process and reflect different wavelengths of light. Countless films, paintings, and photos, including famous Blue Marble photograph, captured by the crew of Apollo 17, will serve as a reminder of what our planet once looked like.

As for Boston, she doesn't expect that we'll see much color change in the harbor itself - it's too full of sediment and runoff for the phytoplankton to make much of a color difference.

"Other things will absorb or scatter it, like something with a hard shell".

The researchers predicted that the global temperature will rise by 3 degrees Celsius till 2100.

Dutkiewicz saw that this blue or green wave band demonstrated an exceptionally clear flag, or move, due explicitly to environmental change. "But you can see a significant, climate-related shift in some of these wavebands, in the signal being sent out to the satellites".

Lead researcher, Dr Stephanie Dutkiewicz, told The Telegraph: 'It could be potentially quite serious.

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