Science & Tech

Scientists finally work out origins of strange ‘blobs’ in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists finally work out origins of strange ‘blobs’ in the Pacific Ocean
Marine Researcher Discover Never Before Seen Ecosystem Underneath the Pacific Ocean Floor
ZMG - Amaze Lab / VideoElephant

Researchers believe they might have found what's been causing warm patches of water to form in the Pacific Ocean.

These patches, also referred to as 'blobs', have been having a harmful effect on marine ecosystems since 2010.

A new study has linked the blows to a reduction in aerosol emissions in China, after researchers used detailed computer simulations.

The policy was designed to improve environmental conditions, however, the airborne particles released by factories allow for sunlight to be reflected back into space, and subsequently keep our atmosphere cooler.

Now, without that cover, the Pacific has been more exposed to heat from the Sun, and combine that with manmade global warming, the increased heat hasn't been good.

"We find that the rapid aerosol abatement in China triggers atmospheric circulation anomalies beyond its source region, driving a substantial mean surface warming in the Northeast Pacific, which provides a favourable condition for extreme ocean warming events," the researchers write in their paper.

China's clear air legislation that was introduced in the 2010s has helped reduce the level of pollutants being released into the atmosphere which has consequently improved air quality.

The models simulated by the researchers found that areas where emission reductions had occurred in the Pacific Ocean are the same locations where the blobs have been concentrated.

Although the blame can't entirely fall on the absence of aerosols. The blobs are likely a chain reaction of warming, which resulted in shifting weather systems, reducing the speed of winds and causing the patches of ocean to overheat further.

The blobs have resulted in the death of fish, seabirds, and other marine life on a massive scale, as well as toxic algae which only further damages the ecosystem,

"Our findings provide an important insight into the mechanisms of the North Pacific ocean-atmosphere changes, highlighting the need to consider the exacerbated risks arising from a reduction in anthropogenic aerosol emissions in assessment of climate change impacts," write the researchers.

Sign upto our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

The Conversation (0)