As oceans are warming at an alarming rate, their currents are also manifesting violently. A new batch of satellite data shows how the speeds of ocean currents changed over time, and things don’t look as good as expected.
Apparently, the currents are behaving in an unprecedented way.
Here is what you need to know.
Ocean Currents are Now Behaving More Strangely
To observe movement on the ocean’s surface, researchers need advanced, powerful satellites orbiting Earth. These satellites can provide a lot of valuable data, even if they’re thousands of kilometres above us.
Researchers can then observe any change in sea surface rise and translate it into ocean flow velocities using data examination. Such a technique allows us to see how energetic currents really are, and that’s what a team of researchers did recently.
They carefully examined satellite data and found accurate changes in the strength and distribution of ocean currents. These results are genuinely intriguing yet shocking.
This method proved to be genuinely helpful and precise in getting the needed results.
How Currents Changed
The new findings are based on data from 1993 until 2020. The team analyzed the strength of currents worldwide and discovered some areas already with high currents that are becoming even bigger.
According to previous studies, on average, currents can get up to 5 % more energetic every decade.
Now, the Southern Ocean is one of the areas the team observed the biggest change: 5 % increase/decade. The reason?
Apparently, that region is a hotspot for carbon storage and ocean heat uptake.
You can watch below a video showing how currents change:
Ocean currents are often not considered for climate predictions of a warming world. And that’s because they’re usually small and “invisible” in current models utilized to predict climate.
More research and observations are needed to find what the future might hold for our planet.