BY 2100, THE ocean as we know it is likely to change color.
That was the conclusion of a study published Monday in the journal Nature Communications that modeled how phytoplankton will change as oceans continue to warm. Under a “business-as-usual” scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, the bluest subtropical zones of the ocean will become bluer, and greener regions along the equator and poles will become greener.
More than just an oddity, the changing color is a warning sign, say the study authors, of drastic global changes that will take place in a world warmed by climate change.
It’s well known that seasonal changes regularly change water color, but warming oceans could be permanently altering the mosaics of blues and greens seen from space.
Sunlight penetrates over 600 feet below the surface of the ocean. Everything deeper is enshrined in darkness. Above that, most water molecules are capable of absorbing all colors except blue, which is why blue is reflected out.
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