by G. Dickie, Mar 16, 2023 in ClimateChangDispatch
Heatwaves unfolding on the bottom of the ocean can be more intense and last longer than those on the sea surface, new research suggests, but such extremes in the deep ocean are often overlooked.
A team of scientists with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has conducted the first assessment of marine heatwaves along North America’s continental shelves.
They found that these bottom heatwaves ranged from 0.5 degrees Celsius to 3C warmer than normal temperatures and could last more than six months — much longer than heatwaves at the surface.
“We simply don’t have a ton of instruments on the ocean bottom along continental shelves,” said study co-author Dillon Amaya, an NOAA climate scientist. “The ocean is a powerful thing. It destroys instruments that we have in the water for too long.”
Surface heatwaves can be picked up by satellites and can result in huge algal blooms.