For billions of years, life on Earth was in the form of organisms made up of a single cell. Complex organisms began to evolve 57 million years ago. Life has lived in such deep seas for about 15 million years. The question posed to scientists was how did these creatures come about and how did they survive without light and with few sources of food? Then the amount of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere was also less. A study from Stanford University indicated that these organisms could survive this long despite low oxygen levels due to stable temperatures in the deep oceans. Today, 50 to 80 percent of the earth’s life is found in the oceans, but these oceans face the greatest challenge of human civilization. Special story: Shatakshi Asthana. (Photo: Art Howard, World Oceanic Exploration Foundation, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2019 Southeastern US Deep Sea Exploration)
Will boiling oceans bring destruction?
Over 3 billion people around the world depend on the oceans for their livelihoods. Despite this, the impact on them is considered serious in terms of the limited population. Those who live far from the oceans feel that any resulting problems are far from them and that they will be safe. Dr Hiroyuki Murakami, project scientist at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of America, said in a conversation with Navbharat Times Online that new studies have shown that tropical cyclones can stay on the ground for one And in hot weather, they can go further on the ground. This indicates that people living on earth are at a higher risk of damage from storms. As the oceans warm, torrential downpours can also occur more frequently. Therefore, it is not fair for those who live far from the ocean to consider themselves safe. (Photo: left Dr Hiroyuki Murakami, credit Maria Setzer; right NOAA)
Arabian Sea crisis
According to Dr Murakami, observations confirmed that the average ocean surface temperature has been rising steadily, especially since the 20th century. One concern is that the rise in temperatures is not the same all over the world. Some places are hotter than others. Due to these varying temperatures, there are circulations that affect global tropical cyclone activity. The Indian Ocean is the one that has seen a lot of heat since the 1980s. We have seen a large number of intense cyclones in the Indian Ocean, especially in the Arabian Sea since 1980. Based on our study of climate modeling, it was found that this heat is due to human activities. Over the past 50 years, 90% of Earth’s warming has occurred in the oceans.
Cyclones intensify over warm waters. The Arabian Sea generally has surface temperatures below 28 ° C and only 93 cyclones were recorded between 1891 and 2000. At the same time, the temperature in the Bay of Bengal is still above 28 degrees Celsius and 350 cyclones came here at the same time. Between 2001 and 2021, 28 cyclones occurred in the Arabian Sea and the intensity of the storms also intensified. This was the result of the rise in sea temperatures which rose to 31 ° C. In 2016, a study published in Nature found that global warming caused by human activities has increased the number of severe storms in the Arabian Sea.
At the same time, the risk of drowning cities has also arisen due to the rise in sea level due to the melting of ice due to global warming. According to a New York Times report, by 2050 India’s financial capital Mumbai could be under water. (Photo: NASA Earth Observatory)
the oceans absorb heat from the air
To change the temperature of water relative to air, there must be a greater increase or decrease in its temperature. It is a very difficult and long process. Because of this, even the slightest change, living things in the water are unable to endure it and are severely affected. The oceans act as a sink for carbon dioxide. They absorb this gas and clean the atmosphere. This process lowers the pH of the water, but exceeding the natural limit can adversely affect acidification. Due to the addition of pollutants in the water, the pH is also reduced.
Dr Murakami explains that scientists agree that greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Leaders, all sides of the problem, and scientists must work together to solve this problem. This is not the problem of any country. International activities should be associated with it. Recent studies have shown that 63 percent of the temperature increase accumulated in the climate system between 1971 and 2010 was due to heat in the upper oceans. At the same time, there was 30% more heat than the heat below 700 meters.
(Simulation by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory)
poison dissolved in water
According to the research paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, the level of pollution in the Mariana Trench, the deepest region on Earth located in the Pacific Ocean, has been found to be higher than in nearby areas where it there is a strong industrialization. This indicates that pollution caused by human activities continues to accumulate until it reaches the depths (bioaccumulation). Many objects like plastic utensils, boxes, bags were found in Mariana. According to a report in the British journal The Royal Society Journal, microplastics have been found in amphipods organisms in the Mariana Trench, which are present in everything from plastic bottles to our clothes. These microplastics typically reach water in Asia from industries in countries such as China and Japan.
Both natural and man-made pollutants end up in the oceans. River water reaches it by sea. These include the disposal of sewers to shipping, oil, grease, detergents, garbage and even radioactive waste. The greatest danger comes from oil spills. As a result, the level of oxygen in the water decreases and the risk of fire also increases. This poses a danger to living things in the water.
In a report from the University of Michigan, it was said that dead fish carry mercury into deep water. Finding mercury in the sea shows a very dangerous sign. It is a neurotoxin, meaning it affects the brain. According to research, this poison from coal-fired power stations, cement plants, incinerators, mines and other such factories reaches the sea through rivers through rain and dust. The microbes turn it into the more toxic methylmercury. It can cause great danger to the nervous system, immune system and digestive system of humans and wildlife through fish and other seafood. Dr Ram Karan says India and other countries of Southeast Asia should limit mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. (Photo: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)
What can we do?
The effect on the oceans is the result of global warming. According to Dr. Murakami, “We can start with small things like turning off the computer and so on. The use of clean and sustainable energy is essential to save the earth from danger. Ordinary people need to understand that each of our stages affects not only our surroundings, but also the most remote corners of the world. This not only creates a crisis on the head of the people living in these areas, but also makes our life difficult while moving around. Life evolved from the oceans billions of years ago and continues to function on them. Saving them is a big challenge at this time. (Photo: NOAA)