Ocean currents protect Galápagos Islands from global warming; but are they safe forever?

Source: The post is based on the article “Ocean currents protect Galápagos Islands from global warming; but are they safe forever?” published in Down To Earth on 17th October 2022.

What is the News?

According to a study, Cold ocean currents have sheltered the Galápagos Islands from global warming.

About Galapagos Island
Galapagos Islands
Source: Britannica

The Galapagos Islands are a part of Ecuador. These are located in the Pacific Ocean around 1,000 km away from the South American continent.

In 1978, the islands became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site. It is described by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention as a “living museum and showcase of evolution.” 

The islands contain aquatic species such as manta rays and sharks which have been endangered by commercial fishing.

Galápagos is home to the critically endangered — Galápagos penguin, Galápagos fur seal and Galápagos sea lion.

Also, the giant tortoises found here – ‘Galápagos’ in old Spanish – give the islands its name.

How are cold ocean currents helping Galapagos Islands from global warming?

The Galapagos islands are protected from an otherwise warming the Pacific Ocean by a cold, eastward equatorial ocean current. 

The equatorial undercurrent in the Pacific Ocean is bound to the equator by the force of the planet’s rotation. Under the ocean’s surface, a swift circulation of cold, nutrient-rich water flows from west to east.

Some of this water is forced to the surface when it reaches the Galápagos Islands. The nutrient-rich water triggers photosynthesis and leads to an explosion of food for a wide variety of animals.

Print Friendly and PDF