Gigantic Marine Heatwave A.K.A. The Blob Continues To Expand Through South America (VIDEO)

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Its appearance has been related to an immense warm bubble and is four times larger than New Zealand. In addition, it covers an area of ​​the ocean that is larger than the territory of Venezuela.

A strange aquatic phenomenon adds to the heat wave experienced by the countries of Oceania. It is a huge area located in the South Pacific have called hot blob ( hot spot ), the temperature rise has attracted the attention of scientists.

The hot water body appears on the heat maps as a dark red patch, covering at least one million square kilometers, which is four times larger than New Zealand , the country that is practically ‘next’ to the phenomenon. According to experts’ projections, the mass of warm water moves eastward towards South America.

This area has a temperature of up to 5 ° C above average.

“It is the largest warming patch above average on the planet at the moment. Normally temperatures are about 15 ° C, at this time they are about 20 ° C, ”said James Renwick, a scientist at the University of Victoria in Wellington.

Renwick said that it is normal for warmer water areas to appear, but it is strange that they have temperatures like those presented by this great hot ‘spot’.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper indicated that the stain began to form last October, but then the temperatures remained at its average and did not grow significantly. However, greater warming in the last month generated its development.

What originated this ‘stain’?

According to the expert, the emergence of this phenomenon could be due to the increase in atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases, which is the result of climate change, according to The Guardian.

Scientists handle another possible cause, of more natural origin: a strong high-pressure system that adds to the lack of wind . “Probably a very thin layer of ocean that has warmed up and there has been no wind to cool it for several weeks,” Renwick explained.

This process is called anticyclone, which occurs when a mass of air cools, contracts and becomes denser, which increases the weight of the atmosphere and the pressure of air on the surface. Consequently, the temperature rises in the area.

“The hot spot”

According to Renwick , several factors have coincided for the formation of this “hot spot“, including an “anticyclone” or high pressure system that has decreased wind currents in that part of the Pacific.

“If the winds are strong, then everything is agitated. If it is not agitated enough, the warming of the sun will be absorbed on the surface of the ocean and this layer of very warm water is generated,” he added. Without these winds the water increases its temperature and that hot current moves towards the coasts.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, NOAA for its acronym in English, ocean temperatures do not usually vary in large proportions, so a degree more or less of difference with the average can be “worrying” and have effects adverse on the climate of the planet.

In this case, temperatures have risen between 4 and 6 ° C in its central zone, which is considered a significant increase.

According to Renwick , the hot water layer extends up to 50 meters below the surface, so scientists will study what impact it will have on the marine life of that area.

Similar “hot spots” were reported 5 years ago between the coasts of California and Alaska , and last September scientists warned of a similar phenomenon, also on the west coast of the United States.

Danger in South America?

According to Renwick , the body of warm water should cool before reaching South America. According to the expert, the movement itself to colder waters could lead to lower temperatures long before it approaches land. If this does not happen, he believes that the mass “may be reasonably close” to South America, but he doubts that it will reach the coast.

However, according to the journal Science , while satellites and other equipment now make it relatively easy for scientists to track these “hot spots,” the magnitude of their ecological impact in the areas where they cross will be less difficult to determine.

Effects of temperature rise

An equal phenomenon near California in 2014 created the greatest flowering of toxic algae on the west coast of the United States. It also caused young salmon to find less food when they entered the ocean. The hotter water caused thousands of sea lions to appear stranded and whales appear dead on the shore.


Source: La Republica