Impacts Of Marine Heatwaves On The Economy And Ocean Systems

3 mins read  Sealuminati TeamNovember 1, 2021

The Ocean Temperature can reach up to such a maximum that it may result in species under pressure or even they can die. Coastal housing such as the seagrass meadows, corals, and kelp forests, can die because of limiting their natural capability to store carbon dioxide and disrupting fisheries and tourism, during the Marine Heatwaves.

After looking at about 34 marine heatwaves worldwide, and found one event in 2016 in southern Chile cost more than $800 million in direct losses to aquaculture (cultivating aquatic plants and animals for food). There is one more heatwave Shark Bay, Western Australia, which resulted in $3.1 billion per year in indirect losses, and as a result of this loss, the seagrass beds and the carbon storage were affected.

The World was going to meet for the COP26. They should have an idea of the impacts of a heatwave and also think about the fact that the marine heatwave is not only encompassing the Ocean system but also creating an impact on the people and some people were already enduring from them.

The Marine Heatwaves are nothing but the warmness of the surface of the water which stays warm for some long time for about weeks and occasionally months as well. The main cause of these Heat Waves is Climate Change. In the past decade, only about eight of the ten most severe cases took place.

There are two reasons for the occurrence of the heatwaves in the ocean, first from the heat entering the ocean via the atmosphere or via the ocean currents that bring warmer waters. When both processes occur together, they lead to heatwaves with even higher temperatures.

The Heatwaves leads to major economic losses because it affects the main species which are essential for the fishers, aquaculturists, and tourism mainly this kind of species includes corals, kelps, and seagrasses – because they provide habitat for a range of creatures. as we have seen many such incidents like the back-to-back coral bleaching events in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef which has caused knock-on socioeconomic consequences which can run into billions of dollars.

After researching about the 34 marine heatwaves across all major ocean basins over the past 25 years it was calculated that the most results were found in the decline rate of fish catch and the destruction of kelp forests or seagrass meadows.

Until now the longest-lived marine heatwave in the North Pacific, known as “the Blob," persisted for over one year in 2015 and 2016 and it has raised the average temperature by 2-4 degrees Celsius on the west coast of the United States.

Heatwaves also restrict ecosystem services relating to carbon isolation. Seagrass, kelp, coral, and other habitat-forming species store carbon dioxide in the same way forests do on land. When they die, this carbon is released.

One of the world’s largest seagrass meadows is located at Shark Bay in Western Australia at 1,200 square nm. About 34 percent of this seagrass died after a marine heatwave struck in 2011. The indirect economic loss from this event was estimated to be $3.1 billion per year, based on the ecosystem service value of the seagrass’ capacity to store carbon.

However, a second marine heatwave in 2016 saw the same lobster fishery earn an extra $103 million due to experience gained since the first, which allowed them to capitalize on the higher lobster catch rates.

There is a need to learn how to cope up with this kind of circumstance. As with every climate-related threat, reducing greenhouse gases and a commitment to the Paris Agreement is the best, long-term solution. But still, it was reported that about a 50 percent increase is there in the Marine Heatwaves since 1925. We are going to face an increased percentage of heatwaves in the future even after reducing the total global warming between 1.5 & 2 degrees Celsius.

Therefore there is a requirement for proper preparation to cope up with the more intense Heat Waves in the future.

Currently, Scientists can predict the Heatwaves only about a week earlier so certain advancement in this area is also important. However, the present is still beneficial because due to its prior notice the fisheries can relocate, the aquaculture business can be rescheduled and many more but still it's not sufficient because the people & the Ocean system has still faced many problems in the past so there is still a requirement of the advancement in technologies.