You usually hear on the news about large heat waves that occur over land, but we rarely hear about them happening in the ocean. They do take place, and according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, they’re becoming more frequent.
The paper, titled Marine Heatwaves Threaten Global Biodiversity and the Provision of Ecosystem Services, says marine heat wave days have increased by more than 54 percent over the last 30 years. These periods of abnormally high water temperatures for a given region not only became more frequent but also began lasting longer over the study period.
These trends, the study’s authors wrote, is consistent with decreasing amounts of marine life. Marine heat waves are another stress on seas that are already facing pollution, overfishing, declining oxygen levels, increasing acidity and other challenges.