Climate Change: Monster Waves and Black Holes: Alongside the remarkable discoveries that scientists have been making about the behaviour of marine life ufabet are more disturbing revelations about the marine environment in which it lives.
Monster Waves and Black Holes
Oceanographers and climatologists are warning that many of their new discoveries reflect a rapidly changing world, and they are not all for the good.
A warming planet, widely believed to be caused by raised carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, means that sea surface temperatures are increasing. The likely consequences are fiercely debated.
In some models, tropical storms – hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones – are predicted to increase in intensity. There will be fewer of them, according to research by Florida State University, for example, but each storm is more powerful than it would have been in the ufabet past and lasts for longer. Coupled with this, scientists report a general increase in ocean wind speeds and wave heights.
Oceanographers at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, have looked at data from 1985 to 2008 and have found that, off Western Australia, wind speeds have increased by 10 per cent during the past couple of decades and extreme wave heights are 6 metres on average today, compared to just 1 metre in 1985. Similar increases have been recorded in other parts of the world.
Extreme waves are large spontaneous waves, sometimes known as rogue waves’. Some are thought to reach up to 30 metres high, and are probably the reason more than 200 supertankers and container ships have been lost during the past two decades.
One stretch of water that is known for its rogue waves is the powerful Agulhas Current, which flows south-westwards along the coast of southern Africa. Here, oceanographers have discovered that ordinary waves encounter swirling eddies in the ocean, and concentrate the energy to form the much larger rogues.
The vortices are known as Agulhas Rings, the water circling at about the same speed as a person walks. They can be so big and powerful, up to 150 kilometres across, that some scientists have likened them to black holes in ufabet space. Once trapped in the gigantic whirlpool, even water cannot get out, and it can remain there for over a year.
In the Southern Ocean, these rings are thought to be important in moving warm waters northwards, away from the Antarctic, and so counteract to some extent the impact of global warming on the region’s ice sheets and glaciers.
They are part of a global oceanic system that is akin to the circulatory system of the human body.