“The oceans play a vital role in regulating the global climate. Today, sea levels are rising due to climate change. The oceans are becoming more acidic, putting marine biodiversity and essential food chains in jeopardy.”
It’s a message from Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres published on June 8, World Oceans Day. He warned that heatwave caused by human activities has raised the temperature of the oceans, nullifying their ability to control climate. “The world's oceans are now heating at the same rate as if five Hiroshima atomic bombs were dropped into the water every second,” a journal published by an international research team of 14 scientists published in January in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences provides further evidence. They demonstrated that ocean temperatures are rising at a rapid pace. According to the journal, oceans warmed four and a half times faster from 1987 to 2019 than they did between 1955 and 1986.
The rising of the global average ocean temperature is a serious issue, but regional ocean temperature rises can also have a huge impact. The most representative example is El Niño. Meteorological disasters are frequent worldwide, for example, Southeast Asia and Australia experience drought while Latin America gets heavy rains. The Indian Ocean Dipole, in which irregular oscillation of sea surface temperatures in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean, also causes serious damage, such as heatwave, drought, and wildfire in Australia and locust plagues in Africa and the Middle East from the end of last year to the beginning of this year.
Blob is a rather new ocean temperature changing phenomenon, which was named only six years ago unlike El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole. A large mass of water on the west coast of the U.S. warmed up abnormally from 2014 to 2016. Scientists named this strange phenomenon the Blob inspired by an organism discovered in a zoo in Paris. Blob is a slimy single-celled organism that does not have the brain but makes decisions; does not have the digestive organ but eats and digests food; does not have limbs but expands itself and moves freely. It is a bizarre creature that disrupts the existing concept of organisms.
The reason why scientists named the temperature rise on the west coast the Blob is the oceanic phenomenon too was very mysterious as the organism. Countless marine life – not only zooplankton and fish but large marine animals, such as whales – in all stages of the food chain perished. Over 95 percent of chinook salmon’s eggs died, which led to the death of sea lions and one million seabirds that rely on fish for food. In early 2015, Washington state banned clam digging due to highly toxic algal bloom. It was the monster created by global warming.
Ocean temperature rises cause disasters beyond our imagination. The World Meteorological Organization said that the year 2019 showed the biggest temperature rise in the oceans in the history of measuring such figures. As the temperature reaches ever-more serious levels every year, disasters, such as the Blob, will take place more often. I hope that the Green New Deal is successfully carried out globally to prevent global warming.