The Changes in The Ocean: Cause and Effect

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About this sample


Words: 547 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

Words: 547|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018


Oceans play a very important role in moderating climate change by helping in the regulation of both heat and carbon dioxide levels. It is therefore very important to understand the interrelationship between the oceans and climate change so as to come up with better climate change policies. The Oceans are vulnerable to adverse impacts from human emissions of greenhouse gases. These impacts majorly include air and water temperature changes, rising ocean water levels, increased levels of ocean acidification, coastal erosion and seasonal shifts. Ocean acidification is brought about by rising in atmospheric carbon and makes survival harder for planktonic organisms that depend on calcium carbonate to form their shells.

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The effects of acidification have been happening since the start of the famous industrial revolution, where pH levels of the ocean have dropped. This has led to coral bleaching where the organisms that help make up the coral die (Buchheim, 1995). It is important to note that it is from these unicellular organisms that the coral feed from for proper nutrition. As a result, they are left so weak and malnourished hence unable to offer protection and shelter to other marine organisms. This poses a threat to the marine food chain and ecosystem.

The rise in ocean temperatures is another change of concern because increased warming in the ocean enhances ocean stratification. Ocean stratification hinders important processes such as photosynthesis and constraining primary production hence disrupting the marine food web. As the ocean water warms, many species will be forced to migrate so they can maintain the temperature conditions they need for feeding and reproduction. This affects the people and industries that rely on the ocean for food and other natural resources. The upwelling areas, for instance, provide some of the richest fishing grounds. It is known that the coral reefs provide habitat for fish and other protein-rich food sources for people as well as tourist attraction sites.

Ocean currents play an important role in the supply of the necessary nutrients required to sustain lives in the marine ecosystem. The currents result due to varying temperatures associated with the changing attitudes. Slow currents mean fewer nutrients are brought for ocean life sustenance and this in a way alters the marine ecosystem. Slow ocean currents also mean that there is excess carbon stored in the ocean because there is enough fresh water brought in to neutralize the excess carbon.

High concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to increased global temperatures. This results in thermal expansion of ocean water as well as melting of ice sheets and so rise in sea levels(Nicholls, R; et al. (2010)). It is therefore important to come up with policies that have an upper hand in carbon dioxide reduction.

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Observing the change in the heat content of the ocean is important so as to understand how exactly the ocean is changing with global warming. A rise in sea level is a notable change in the oceans. Dueto global warming, glaciers and ice sheets are melted and water flows to ocean adding to the amount of seawater (Titus,1989). This, in turn, may lead to erosion of beaches, flooding or even increased the salinity of aquifers and estuaries. The increased salinity threatens aquatic animals and plants that cannot tolerate high levels of salinity.

Climate Change Essay: Hook Examples

  • Startling Statistics: Did you know that the oceans are not only vital for sustaining life on Earth but also play a critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change?
  • Environmental Paradox: In our quest for industrialization and progress, we have unintentionally unleashed a threat upon one of Earth’s most precious resources—the oceans. Explore with me the paradox of how human actions are disrupting the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and climate regulation.
  • Coral Catastrophe: Imagine a world where coral reefs, the vibrant underwater cities teeming with life, are fading away due to ocean acidification. The plight of these marine organisms serves as a stark reminder of the profound consequences of our carbon emissions.
  • Migration of the Seas: As our oceans warm, countless marine species are on the move, seeking refuge in new waters. This mass migration isn’t just a concern for marine life; it has far-reaching implications for the livelihoods of coastal communities and global food security.
  • Rising Tides, Sinking Realities: The rising sea levels caused by global warming are not just a distant threat—they are reshaping our coastlines, endangering ecosystems, and impacting human societies. Join me as we explore the profound consequences of a warming world on our ocean’s tides.

Works Cited

  1. Buchheim, J. (1995). The role of photosynthesis in coral bleaching. Marine pollution bulletin, 31(4-12), 540-545.
  2. Nicholls, R., Wong, P. P., Burkett, V., Codignotto, J., Hay, J., McLean, R., … & Woodroffe, C. (2010). Coastal systems and low-lying areas. In Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 315-356). Cambridge University Press.
  3. Titus, J. G. (1989). Rising seas, coastal erosion, and the takings clause: How to save wetlands and beaches without hurting property owners. Ecology law quarterly, 16, 433.
  4. Feely, R. A., Sabine, C. L., Lee, K., Berelson, W., Kleypas, J., Fabry, V. J., & Millero, F. J. (2004). Impact of anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 system in the oceans. Science, 305(5682), 362-366.
  5. Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P. J., Hooten, A. J., Steneck, R. S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., … & Hatziolos, M. E. (2007). Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. science, 318(5857), 1737-1742.
  6. IPCC. (2019). IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Cambridge University Press.
  7. Lam, V. W., Cheung, W. W., Reygondeau, G., & Sumaila, U. R. (2016). Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change. Scientific reports, 6, 32607.
  8. Lima, F. P., & Wethey, D. S. (2012). Three decades of high-resolution coastal sea surface temperatures reveal more than warming. Nature communications, 3(1), 1-7.
  9. Richardson, A. J., & Poloczanska, E. S. (2008). Ocean science: Under-resourced, under threat. Nature, 455(7216), 1184-1185.
  10. Shepherd, J. G., & Boyd, I. L. (2019). Risky business: linking emerging climate risks and insurance solutions in a warming world. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 684.
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The Changes in The Ocean: Cause and Effect. (2018, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 12, 2024, from
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