In recent months, average surface temperatures in the North Atlantic have been the hottest on record.
A marine heatwave is currently battering the British coastline, causing concern among meteorologists. According to experts, the sun’s rays are more intense in the region due to climate change, and this year’s decrease in Sahara dust and Arctic ice.
“In some places, temperatures are four or five degrees higher than you’d normally expect at this time of year,” says Thomas Rippeth, physical oceanographer at Bangor University. The ocean is not like the atmosphere. It doesn’t heat up and cool down quickly. It takes a long time to warm up and a long time to cool down.
If you look at a heat map, you’ll see that rising temperatures are clearly visible all along the east coast of the Atlantic. This warming can lead to extreme weather phenomena.
The ocean plays an absolutely essential role,” warns Thomas Rippeth. “95% of energy transfer from solar to infrared radiation takes place at the ocean surface. The distribution of this transfer influences our weather systems. If we heat up the ocean too much, high ocean temperatures lead to the most violent storms. Hurricanes, for example, form when water temperatures exceed 26 degrees Celsius”.
In recent months, average surface temperatures in the North Atlantic have been the warmest on record.
Each heat wave leads to the migration or even extinction of species, and disrupts marine ecosystems as a whole.