How Climate Change Affects the Ocean

By Nadia Isaac – Jul 29, 2021

The ocean plays a central role in regulating the Earth’s climate. Oceans have a two-way relationship with weather and climate. The ocean tends to impact the weather, while changes in climate can alter many properties of the ocean.

Now more than ever, oceans are absorbing more heat due to greenhouse gases retaining more energy from the sun. This results in an increase in sea surface temperatures and rising sea levels, which will ultimately lead to changes in climate patterns around the world.

These changes will impact coastal communities the most. The ocean and coasts provide critical ecosystem advantages such as carbon storage, oxygen generation, food, and income generation.

Increasing levels of dissolved carbon are making seawater more acidic. The increase in ocean acidity makes it more difficult for certain organisms, such as corals and shellfish, to build their skeletons and shells, which could significantly change ocean ecosystems’ productivity. In addition, coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses play a pivotal part in carbon storage and sequestration.

Ocean acidification can ultimately do much damage to our entire ecosystem, and we need to find ways to combat it. One way to prevent it is by acting on climate change and implementing solutions to reduce the drastic use of fossil fuels. If we reduce our global warming emissions, we could ultimately reduce the harm being done to our ecosystem.

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