World’s Seas Are Losing Their “Memory” As A Result Of Global Warming, Experts Claim

Global warming is destroying the 'memory' of most of the world's oceans

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Global warming is causing oceans to lose their ability to remember the past. Ocean memory decline is observed as a coordinated response to human-induced global warming. As greenhouse-gas concentration levels continue to rise, such memory loss will become more evident.

According to the study, published in the journal Science Advances, fast weather variations in the atmosphere will result in the ocean temperature tomorrow being similar to today’s, with only minor changes.

“We noticed this phenomenon by looking at the resemblance in ocean surface temperature from year to year as a simple metric for ocean memory.” Hui Shi, lead author and researcher at the Farallon Institute stated

What Is Ocean Memory?

Ocean memory has been found to be linked to the thickness of the ocean’s uppermost layer, known as the mixed layer. Deeper mixed layers contain more heat, which grants more thermal inertia, which equates into memory.

Moreover, the thinning mixed layer has been shown to increase fluctuations in sea surface temperature as well as decreasing ocean memory.

As a result, while the ocean will not become significantly more changeable from year to year in the coming years, the fraction of useful signals for prediction will decrease significantly.

What will be the impact?

The decrease in ocean memory implies that the system is changing and that prediction will become more difficult as temperatures rise. It may also have an impact on marine ecosystems, ocean prediction, and predicting land-based impacts on temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather events.

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