Seas Color to Change if Global Temperatures Continue to Rise

Seas Color to Change if Global Temperatures Continue to Rise

Climate change might alter the color of the Earth's seas as part of its detrimental effects on the planet, said a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggested that the color of the sea will become bluer and greener as a result of rising global temperatures on phytoplankton, or microscopic marine algae that hold chlorophyll and require sunlight to live and grow.

Results of a computer modeling estimation showed that the color of more than half of the world's oceans will change by 2100 if sea surface temperatures continue to rise under a "business as usual scenario" of 3°C.

"There will be a noticeable difference in the color of 50 percent of the ocean by the end of the 21st century," a principal research scientist at MIT's Department of Earth, , Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and lead author Stephanie Dutkiewicz, said in a press release.

Dutkiewicz warned that this is "quite serious."

"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," she noted.

"Without the [little algae] there wouldn't be any life in the ocean. If they were to magically change, or if we were to kill them off completely, there would be a lot of carbon coming out of the ocean and back into the atmosphere, and creating more problems that we have now,” Dutkiewicz told WBUR News.