What is the news?
Recently, Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service published a report “The Ocean State Report 5”.
As per the report the global ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and regulates the Earth’s climate and sustains life. Currently, global ocean is undergoing severe changes from natural variations, over-exploitation and anthropogenic influences.
These changes caused the sea level to rise by 3.1 millimeters each year on an average from January 1993 through May 2020.
What are the findings of the report?
First, warming ocean waters have caused many marine species to move towards cooler waters. This migration has led to the introduction of non-native and invasive species to different marine ecosystems.
Second, increasing temperatures in the eastern Mediterranean basin saw the lionfish (Pterois miles) entering the Mediterranean Sea from the Suez Canal to the Ionian Sea.
Third, a series of strong Acqua Alta (high water) events occurred in Venice in 2019. It was due to an unusually high mean sea level, a high spring tide and extreme local and regional weather conditions.
Fourth, around 50% of Earth’s oxygen production takes place in the ocean, sustaining marine life cycles. This is threatened by growing human activities leading to climate change and eutrophication. This deoxygenates the oceans and seas and has adverse consequences on the marine life.
Fifth, In the Arctic, sea ice is steadily decreasing; in September 2019, sea ice followed a decreasing trend of -12.89 per cent per decade — a record low in sea ice extent in the last two years.
Note: Eutrophication is the enrichment of a lake or other water body with chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, or both.
Source: This post is based on the article “Sea level rose 3.1 mm each year between 1993 and 2020: Report ” published in Down to Earth on 24th Sep 2021.