Connect with us


Recent rapid ocean warming worries scientists



sun over the ocean

The recent rapid warming of the oceans has alarmed scientists, fearing it will exacerbate global warming.

The global sea surface reached a new record high temperature this month. He had never heated up so much, so quickly.

Scientists do not fully understand why this happened.

But they are concerned that, combined with other weather events, global temperatures could reach new levels by the end of next year.

Experts believe that the strong El Niño weather event — a weather system that warms the ocean — will also come within the next few months.

Warmer oceans could kill marine life, lead to more extreme weather and raise sea levels. They are also less efficient at absorbing greenhouse gases that warm the planet.

Map of average sea surface temperatures in the period 2011-2020. compared to 1951-1980. Almost the entire surface of the sea in the world has warmed up, especially strong warming in the Arctic in places exceeds two degrees Celsius. There is a local area of ​​cooling southeast of Greenland.

IN important new researchpublished last week with little fanfare highlights a disturbing development.

Over the past 15 years, the heat accumulated by the Earth has increased by 50%, with most of the excess going into the oceans.

This has real-world implications – not only did overall ocean temperatures hit a new record this April, in some regions the difference was huge over the long term.

sea ​​views

Marine species are under threat due to warming waters

In March, sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America were 13.8°C warmer than the 1981-2011 average.

“It’s not yet fully understood why such rapid changes and such huge changes are taking place,” said Karina von Schuckmann, lead author of the new study and oceanographer at Mercator Ocean International’s research group.

“We’ve doubled the heat in the climate system in the last 15 years, I don’t want to say it’s climate change or natural variability or a combination of both, we don’t know yet. But we see this change. “

Interestingly, one of the factors that can affect the level of heat entering the oceans is the reduction in pollution from shipping.

In 2020, the International Maritime Organization introduced a regulation to reduce the sulfur content of fuels burned by ships.

This had a quick impact, reducing the amount of aerosol particles emitted into the atmosphere.

But aerosols that pollute the air also help reflect heat back into space — removing them could cause more heat to enter the water.

What are the consequences of ocean warming?

The average surface temperature of the world’s seas has increased by about 0.9C compared to pre-industrial levels: only in the last 40 years 0.6°C.

That’s less than the rise in air temperature over land, which has risen more than 1.5 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. This is because it takes much more energy to heat water than it does to heat land, and because the oceans absorb heat much deeper than their surface.

Even this seemingly small average increase has serious implications in the real world.

  • Loss of species: more frequent and intense marine heat waves lead to mass mortality of marine life. This is especially harmful for Coral reefs.

  • More extreme weather: Warmer temperatures on the ocean’s upper surface means hurricanes and cyclones can absorb more energy. This means that they become more intense and longer.

  • Sea level rise: Warmer waters take up more space – known as thermal expansion – and can greatly accelerate the melting of glaciers with Greenland another Antarctica that flows into the oceans. It raises global sea levels, increasing risks coastal flooding.

  • Less capacity to absorb CO2: the oceans currently absorb about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. Warmer waters have less ability to absorb CO2. If the oceans absorb less CO2 in the future, more carbon dioxide will accumulate in the atmosphere, causing the air and oceans to warm even more.

Another major factor that scientists are worried about is the weather phenomenon known as El Niño and the Southern Oscillation.

For the past three years, this natural phenomenon has been in a cooler phase, called La Niña, and has helped control global temperatures.

But now researchers believe that a strong El Niño is forming, which will have serious consequences for the whole world.

Sea surface temperature in March 2023 compared to the 1951–1980 average  Temperatures are higher in the Pacific, especially in the east.

Unusually high sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific are a classic sign of the El Niño phase.

“The Australian bureau model is highly dependent on a strong El Niño. And it has such a trend, and all climate models tend to have a stronger event,” said Hugh McDowell of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Mr. McDowell warned that forecasts for this point in the year are less reliable. Other researchers are more optimistic.

Coastal El Niño has already developed off the coasts of Peru and Ecuador, and experts believe a fully formed event will follow that will affect global temperatures.

“If a new new El Niño event is added to this, we will probably have an additional global warming of 0.2 to 0.25 degrees Celsius,” said Dr. Josef Lüdescher of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.

“The impact on temperature wanes a few months after the peak of any El Niño, so 2024 is likely to be the warmest year on record.”

“And we can, we will be close to 1.5C days, and we may temporarily exceed.”

El Niño is likely to disrupt weather patterns around the world, weaken the rainy season and threaten bushfires in Australia.

But there are more fundamental concerns: as more heat escapes into the ocean, the waters may be less able to store excess energy.

And there are fears that the heat contained in the oceans will not stay there.

Several scientists contacted for this story were unwilling to record the aftermath.

One spoke of being “extremely anxious and completely tense.”

Some studies have shown that the world heats up in leaps and bounds, when little change occurs for several years, and then there are sudden upward leaps, like rungs on a ladder, closely related to the development of El Niño.

According to Karina von Schuckmann, there is some hope in this scenario. Temperatures may drop again after El Niño subsides.

“We still have time to act and we must use it to reduce the impact,” she told BBC News.

Graphics by Erwan Rivaud.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


New sub-variant of COVID Arcturus coronavirus now in Los Angeles



Los Angeles County has identified its first cases of a new sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus dubbed Arcturus, a strain closely monitored by global health authorities, as it has been linked to rising cases in India.

The sub-variant, officially designated XBB.1.16, has also gained attention following anecdotal reports linking it to what was a rare symptom of COVID-19: pink eye.

However, it remains unclear whether this symptom is more pronounced in Arcturus than in earlier strains of Omicron. The latter subvariant has not been shown to cause more severe disease.

However, it is possible that Arcturus is even more contagious than dominant strain of coronavirus in the US XBB.1.5. While this is likely not enough to cause a new spike in cases, any spike in transmission increases the risk to vulnerable individuals – and raises the value of protective measures, health officials say.

“When we hear reports that ‘the pandemic is over’ or that ‘COVID-19 has become endemic’, it seems that people no longer need to be aware of its impact or take any steps to protect themselves and others,” Los -Angeles. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for the county, said at a briefing on Thursday. “The very fact that we are seeing new strains with possible other symptoms should remind us that COVID continues to evolve.”

It is unclear how many cases of Arcturus have appeared in California. At least three have been identified in Los Angeles County, Ferrer said.

Since Arcturus is a sub-variant of Omicron, Ferrer said it is likely that current vaccines and therapeutics will be effective against this strain.

However, she said in an interview: “With any new mutation that crowds out what is already there…they will probably be able to transmit the infection more easily. So you could see the bump.”

Unofficial nickname Arcturus is Latin and comes from the Greek word arcturos, what does a bear watcher or watcher mean. This is also the name fourth brightest star in the night sky.

It is now believed to be the second most common strain of coronavirus circulating in the country, accounting for approximately 7.2% of cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is well above its estimated share of 2.1% for the week ended April 1.

Meanwhile, XBB.1.5 accounted for roughly 78% of new cases nationwide in the week ending Saturday.

In the US Southwest, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Territories, Arcturus accounted for approximately 9.8% of cases, up from approximately 2.6% in the week ended April 1.

“This is worth looking at. It has been in circulation for several months now.” Maria van Kerkhovethe World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 said recently.

Indian authorities say Arcturus has begun replacing older versions of the coronavirus.

“Based on early reports in India and over 20 countries, it doesn’t look like more people are being proportionally sent to the hospital. But it causes an increase in cases,” the doctor said. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. Since US incidence rates are at a relatively low level, “if you give a little more benefit to a particular sub-option, it will increase the number of cases.”

There are also unconfirmed reports of pink eyeor conjunctivitis in people infected with coronavirus in India, especially children.

Prior to Arcturus, pink eye was a symptom of 1% to 3% of coronavirus cases, according to Chin-Hong and Ferrer.

If left untreated, conjunctivitis can go beyond just pain and itching and damage the cornea, Ferrer says.

“It’s always been a side effect [of COVID-19]albeit very rarely,” she said. “If left untreated, it can lead to even more damage to people’s eyes. If you have conjunctivitis – for whatever reason – it needs to be treated.”

Pink eye can be caused by other viruses and bacteria. According to the National Eye Institute, “this is one of most common eye problems for both children and adults.”

“Just because you have conjunctivitis doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID. You should go and get tested, especially if you have any other symptoms,” Ferrer said.

According to National Eye Institutepeople who are around a person with conjunctivitis should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always wash your hands before touching your eyes and after touching a person with conjunctivitis or anything they have used.

“Do not share personal items that have been used by a person with conjunctivitis, including pillows, towels, cosmetics or glasses,” the institute said in a statement.

People with conjunctivitis who wear contact lenses should check with their eye doctor about how to clean, store, and change lenses. They should also throw away any lenses, solutions, and cases they used when they had conjunctivitis. The same goes for face or eye makeup, as well as makeup brushes or sponges.

Coronavirus cases are relatively stable at lower levels in California. As of Thursday, there were no signs of rising levels of coronavirus in Los Angeles County sewage or officially reported cases of coronavirus.

“But it’s always possible: I expect that if we do see an increase, I hope it will be relatively small,” Ferrer said.

Over the past week, Los Angeles County has reported 44 deaths from COVID-19.

“Compared to other periods of the pandemic, we are seeing a much lower number of deaths,” Ferrer said on Thursday. “However, these deaths are not insignificant. And COVID continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County and across the country.”

In general, people at higher risk of dying are older and not up to date on their COVID-19 immunizations and revaccinations or have not been treated with COVID drugs, experts say.

Only 42% of Los Angeles County seniors have received the updated vaccine since it became available in September.

While many believe that the time when hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients is over, any spike in cases could still lead to more hospitalizations, highlighting the importance of keeping vaccines up to date (especially for the elderly) and seeking therapeutic services. COVID medicines, such as paxlovid and molnupiravir, which are provided free of charge if you become infected.

Evidence that the updated COVID-19 vaccine saves lives and reduces the risk of hospitalization continues to accumulate. According to data for the 90-day period ending March 27, Los Angeles County residents who received a refresher booster were half as likely to die compared to people who were vaccinated but did not receive a refresher booster.

The chance of death in people who received updated boosters was about one-tenth less than that of unvaccinated residents of Los Angeles County. Immunity from a past infection does not, by itself, provide as much protection as vaccines.

“This data illustrates the very real protection offered by a bivalent amplifier, even against the newer options that are circulating now,” Ferrer said.

She also urged infected residents to take anti-COVID medications such as Paxlovid when prescribed, even if they do not feel seriously ill.

“Paxlovid has a really good track record in reducing severe disease. And the only thing you don’t want to do is wait until you develop a severe illness before taking it if you’re in the high-risk category,” Ferrer said.

Research shows that vaccination another Paxlovid also reduce the risk of prolonged COVID.

Chin-Hong said he suspects the rise in cases of the latter sub-option was a factor in prompting federal officials this week to give another booster dose for the elderly and immunocompromised.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see something like ‘regular spike’ in quotes again. But we will see these little bumps. And I feel that XBB.1.16 can cause a small jump in our cases, a small jump in hospitalizations, ”he said. “But right now we’re so low that when you’re this low, you can only go one way, up.”

Los Angeles County COVID-19 vaccination clinics began offering additional updated doses on Thursday.

Americans who need help accessing an updated vaccine, COVID therapeutics, or other COVID-19 related resources can call (833) 540-0473 seven days a week from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.

Continue Reading






Continue Reading


Lost 2nd century Roman fort discovered in Scotland



Archaeologists have unearthed the foundations of a “lost” second-century Roman fortress in western Scotland, part of an ill-fated attempt to extend imperial control across Britain.

The fort was one of 41 fortifications built along the Antonine Wall, a fortification mostly made up of earthen and timber ramparts that is said to have stretched for about 40 miles (65 kilometers) across Scotland at its narrowest point. Historical environment of Scotland (will open in a new tab) (HES), government agency.

Continue Reading