May 20, 2012

Maritime Consequences

Our oceans play a fundamental role in controlling Earth’s climate. This is because water is 1,000 times more dense than air and retains heat four times (this property is known known as “thermal inertia”). Oceans store large amounts of heat. Ocean currents transport heat around the globe, similar to the heating of a house. However, warmer seas also means the destruction of underwater ecosystems.

Rising temperatures are having a disastrous effect on the coral. In 1998, scientists announced that most of the coral is dying. In fact, large coral bands have disappeared from the coast of Florida.

Coral reefs are produced by tiny sea creatures called polyps. They have hard external skeletons made of calcium, which over the years, help to form large colonies. The coral forms around the world in warm waters over 20 degrees Celsius and generally at depths below 50 meters. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and most famous coral reef that exists.

It is estimated that over a quarter of all marine fish are found in or around coral reefs occupy only 0.02% of the world’s oceans. This could explain why coral reefs are sometimes called the forest of the ocean. This is because up to 15% of all global shoal of fish are caught here. This results in dire consequences for local economies. But this loss is much deeper.

Another immediate consequence is the melting of the polar regions, which will increase the proportion of freshwater on the planet, also the water level will rise to four inches every twenty years or so, affecting countries with very large coastal areas.

The barrier acts as a breakwater to provide protection to the islands and coasts of the violent storms of the open sea, particularly during hurricane season. Of course, the temperature of the ocean also generates hurricanes, storms more powerful and feared in the tropics.

Hurricanes are large low pressure rotors, large enough to be seen from space. They bring torrential rains, storms and strong winds. Hurricanes raise their path sea level and often cause flooding in low-lying coasts. This phenomenon is known as “storm surge” and can reach up to 4 meters high.

Conditions must be necessary for the formation of a hurricane, the sea surface must be above 26.5 degrees Celsius. To be classified as a hurricane, typhoon or cyclone, the wind speed must be greater than 117 km / hour. About 50 tropical storms each year reach hurricane status.

If the oceans warm up, that number could double. Tropical atolls like the Maldives, rising less than 1.8 meters above sea level, could disappear forever. Along with its population of 270,000 people.

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