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Home / Science / Blue Blues: Climate change will change the colors of the oceans, according to the MIT study

Blue Blues: Climate change will change the colors of the oceans, according to the MIT study



  Global warming could change the color of the oceans

Climate change will make the blue of the oceans blue and green, says a new study.

The color of an ocean depends on how the sunlight is reflected by what is in the water

Microorganisms called phytoplankton contain chlorophyll, a pigment that absorbs more of the blue part of the light spectrum and less of the green , The green light is reflected. Water with more phytoplankton has a greenish hue. Areas without organisms, such as the middle of the ocean, look blue.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a model to simulate how different species of phytoplankton grow and interact with the oceans, and how that changes as global temperatures rise according to a statement from the study.

(WATCH: Warming the oceans is faster than expected ̵

1; why is that bad? By the end of the 21st century, scientists found that by the year 2100, more than half of the oceans were due to

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Communications suggests areas like the subtropics have even less phytoplankton because warmer water contains fewer nutrients for the microorganisms. These areas will become even bluer than they are today.

Regions that are cooler today, near the Earth's poles, are getting warmer, bringing with them more nutrients that feed on larger phytoplankton blooms, these areas will turn to a deeper green

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"The model suggests the changes It does not seem huge to the naked eye, and the sea will still look as if it has blue regions in the subtropics and greener regions near the equator and poles," said lead author Stephanie Dutkiewicz, one of the main scientists at the MIT Department of Earth. Atmospheric and planetary sciences and the joint program for science and politics of global change. "This pattern will still be there, but it will be enough to affect the rest of the food web that phytoplankton supports."

"It could possibly be very serious," Dutkiewicz added. "Different types of phytoplankton absorb light differently, and as climate change moves one community of phytoplankton into another, it will also change the types of food webs that can support them."


The Weather Company's primary journalistic mission is reporting on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company IBM.


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