- From 1925-2016, the study found the frequency of marine heatwaves had increased on average by 34% and the length of each heatwave had increased by 17%. Together this led to a 54% increase in the number of marine heatwave days every year.
April 10, 2018 University of New South Wales
We know heatwaves over land have been increasing, but now new research reveals globally marine heatwaves have also been increasing in length, number and intensity over the past century. More intriguing still, this trend has accelerated markedly since 1982.
…Persistent warm water in the north Pacific from 2014-2016 led to fishery closures, mass strandings of marine mammals and harmful algal blooms along coastlines. That heatwave even changed large-scale weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest.
More recently still, Tasmania’s intense marine heatwave in 2016 led to disease outbreaks and slowing in growth rates across aquaculture industries….
….”With more than 90% of the heat from human caused global warming going into our oceans, it is likely marine heatwaves will continue to increase. The next key stage for our research is to quantify exactly how much they may change.
“The results of these projections are likely to have significant implications for how our environment and economies adapt to this changing world.”…
Eric C. J. Oliver, Markus G. Donat, Michael T. Burrows, Pippa J. Moore, Dan A. Smale, Lisa V. Alexander, Jessica A. Benthuysen, Ming Feng, Alex Sen Gupta, Alistair J. Hobday, Neil J. Holbrook, Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Hillary A. Scannell, Sandra C. Straub, Thomas Wernberg. Longer and more frequent marine heatwaves over the past century. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03732-9