The oceans vast arrays of colors is considered by many whom are fortunate to see the many different shades as some of the most beautiful colors in the world. Unfortunately, this will soon change and it is bad news for the health of seas.
In an article published on Nature, researchers outlined that current satellite photos suggests that the color of the oceans could change significantly over the next few decades, with the subtropics turning more blue and the Arctic and Antarctic turning more green due to warming ocean temperatures impacting phytoplankton populations.
While a simple change in color may seem insignificant, it has huge implications for what is happening to the oceans health on a global scale.
As the oceans warm, entire eco-systems can be wiped out or moved due to changing habitats. That change starts with the bottom of the food chain, phytoplankton.
Photoplankton is the basis of the food chain in the ocean and what we see as green in the ocean, is actually phytoplankton’s chlorophyll filling the oceans. With temperatures in the ocean warming, that phytoplankton will be force to either move to colder waters on either poles or it the organism may face a deadly end.
While researchers have not yet detected any unusual changes in the location of phytoplankton yet, models are being used to show that waters around places such as Hawaii will become more blue while arctic waters will become more green.
The researchers did say that phytoplankton won’t die off completely as the oceans warm, but there will be significant changes to the entire ecosystem as the base of the chain moves to the polar caps. Taking away the base of a food chain will surely have severe consequences to other species of marine life. Those species will need to chase their food sources as they migrate to new parts of the world permanently, leaving major gaps in the food chain and changing the dynamics of the oceans forever.