Earth May Lose Its Blue Colour by 2100: MIT Study


According to the researchers, the ocean will see its blue and green regions intensify so much so that satellite imaging will detect these the new hues. This water is "barren", and the typical oceanic blue is seen in open waters.

The numbers of phytoplankton present in oceans is crucial.

Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

The molecules in water absorb all but the blue part of the sunlight, reflecting that blue color back to us, causing the ocean to appear blue.

The best example is phytoplankton - an aquatic micro-organism.

By simulating the world's oceans up until the year 2100, the model showed that more than 50pc of the oceans will become brighter, with the subtropics becoming more blue, indicating a lack of phytoplankton - and life itself - within the water.

They also play an important role in how we see the oceans with our eyes. She made a decision to try a new method: looking a subtle shifts in water color. They pull carbon into the ocean while giving off oxygen. Areas that are predominantly blue, such as the subtropics, will become even more blue as phytoplankton - and all the life it supports, which is virtually all life in the area - dwindle.

But phytoplankton are vulnerable to the ocean's current warming trend. These base organisms also store extra carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, cranking out almost half of all the oxygen we breathe: so, yeah, they are pretty important.

Meanwhile, temperatures are set to rise in colder nutrient-dense waters in the north and south pole, spurring the growth of phytoplankton and making waters greener.

Dutkiewicz said various scientific models suggest that there is likely to be a decrease in the overall amount of phytoplankton in the oceans over time.

Scientists say there will be less of them in the waters in the decades to come.

This change in color is bad for a number of reasons, according to the study.

Not only will climate change have a definitive impact on nature, killing off countless species and thus affecting our own capacity to thrive. And in a world that warms by 3 degrees Celsius, it found that multiple changes to the colour of the oceans would occur. Warmer waters will bring more phytoplankton blooms, causing the waters to appear a deeper green than ever before.

The sharp reduction in phytoplankton populations will have a negative effect on climate change, as these organisms are responsible for removing a considerable amount of carbon dioxide from the air.

For years, the government has maintained satellites that monitor the kind of light, or radiance, that is coming from the Earth's surface.

"The satellites are going to be the sentinels", she said.

Rarotonga, in the Pacific Ocean. "Different types of phytoplankton absorb light differently, and if climate change shifts one community of phytoplankton to another, that will also change the types of food webs they can support", Dutkiewicz added.

But in the scientific world, they could mean significant shifts. Chlorophyll levels could also be skewed by isolated weather events that temporarily tweak algae populations, but which don't necessarily evince the systemic workings of climate change, said Stephanie Dutkiewicz, the study's lead author, in a press release.