There is no escaping from climate change, even in the deep sea

Hokkaido University

IMAGE
IMAGE: Climate velocity (km decade-1) for contemporary (1955-2005) and projected future sea temperatures (2050-2100) at sea surface and the mesopelagic layer under three IPCC greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and… view more  Credit: Isaac Brito-Morales et al., Nature Climate Change. May 25, 2020

Even though the deeper layers of the ocean are warming at a slower pace than the surface, animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges to maintain their preferred thermal habitats in the future.

Reporting in the journal Nature Climate Change, an international team of scientists, led by the University of Queensland in Australia and involving Hokkaido University, analyzed contemporary and future global patterns of the velocity of climate change across the depths of the ocean. Their metric describes the temporal rate and direction of temperature changes, as a proxy for potential shifts of marine biota in response to climate warming.

Despite rapid surface warming, the team found that global mean climate velocities in the deepest layers of the ocean (>1,000 m) have been 2 to nearly 4-fold faster than at surface over the second half of the 20th century. The authors point to the greater thermal homogeneity of the deep ocean environment as responsible for these larger velocities. Moreover, while climate velocities are projected to slow down under scenarios contemplating strong mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP2.6), they will continue to accelerate in the deep ocean.

“Our results suggest that deep sea biodiversity is likely to be at greater risk because they are adapted to much more stable thermal environments,” says Jorge Garci?a Molinos, a climate ecologist at Hokkaido University’s Arctic Research Center, who contributed to the study. “The acceleration of climate velocity for the deep ocean is consistent through all tested greenhouse gas concentration scenarios. This provides strong motivation to consider the future impacts of ocean warming to deep ocean biodiversity, which remains worryingly understudied.”

Climate velocities in the mesopelagic layer of the ocean (200-1000 m) are projected to be between 4 to 11 times higher than current velocities at the surface by the end of this century. Marine life in the mesopelagic layer includes great abundance of small fish that are food for larger animals, including tuna and squid. This could present additional challenges for commercial fisheries if predators and their prey further down the water column do not follow similar range shifts.

The authors also compared resulting spatial patterns of contemporary climate velocity with those of marine biodiversity for over 20,000 marine species to show potential areas of risk, where high biodiversity and velocity overlap. They found that, while risk areas for surface and intermediate layers dominate in tropical and subtropical latitudes, those of the deepest layers are widespread across all latitudes except for polar regions.

The scientists caution that while uncertainty of the results increases with depth, life in the deep ocean is also limited by many factors other than temperature, such as pressure, light or oxygen concentrations. “Without knowing if and how well deep ocean species can adapt to these changes, we recommend to follow a precautionary approach that limits the negative effects from other human activities such as deep-sea mining and fishing, as well as planning for climate-smart networks of large Marine Protected Areas for the deeper ocean,” says Garci?a Molinos.

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From EurekAlert!

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97 thoughts on “There is no escaping from climate change, even in the deep sea

  1. The ‘deep sea biodiversity’ is not as silly as the authors think and the creatures will do just as they always have over millennia and just move around until they find an environment to their liking. The writers at Hokkaido University have done much the same and have arrived at a spot where they receive grants and funding for ‘studies’ like this.

    • ……Isaac Brito-Morales, David S. Schoeman, Jorge García Molinos, Michael T. Burrows, Carissa J. Klein, Nur Arafeh-Dalmau, Kristin Kaschner, Cristina Garilao, Kathleen Kesner-Reyes & Anthony J. Richardson

      I thought Hokkaido was in Japan. I smell funding chasers and after reading the abstract, it stinks.

      • Mike,
        firstly the work is a collaboration between 10 different universities and according to the press
        release it was “lead” by the University of Queensland and involved the University of Hokkaido.
        Secondly the great thing about science is that it is international and just as no-one would be surprised if a Chinese or Japanese academic worked at an Australian or Amercian University so no one should be surprised if European born scientists moved to Japan to work.

      • This provides strong motivation to consider the future impacts of ocean warming to deep ocean biodiversity, which remains worryingly understudied.

        ╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬

        The ‘stench’ of “We want more money”

  2. “animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges to maintain their preferred thermal habitats in the future”

    Yes sir. I know what you mean. Amazing how deep is the reach of the impacts of human activity. The whole of the planet is now at the mercy of human activity.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/27/a-co2-nightmare-hydrothermal-vents/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/10/01/agw-oceans/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/06/ohc/

    • “Matt_S May 25, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      “Climate velocities”

      another one for bullshit bingo”

      Thank you Matt. My English vocabulary just expanded. It now includes bullshit bingo.

      • You’d need to be talking about Climate Density then. Climate Specific Gravity would, by definition, be unit-less as it would be the ratio of observed Climate Density divided by Climate Density at nominal temperature.

        • Climate Density is better. It should be applied to people who write papers. I’ll give this paper 6 twaddle density.

    • I, too, was wondering what “global mean climate velocities” means.

      How does climate have a velocity? Perhaps they are confused with the velocity of unicorn flatulence

  3. So maybe we should change “global warming” to “universal warming”. Mars look out, we´re coming.

  4. We need some rates of temperature change to assess whether this is BS or not.
    BS = believable science ?

    • “We need some rates of temperature change…”

      My first thought too.

      It would be nice to see a 2-D plot of the heat from source of vent to a distance where the heat is insignificant. The heat dissipation must be dependent on deep ocean current and change dramatically more and faster, than the grant seekers’ anticipated global warming.

      But I guess it is President Trump’s fault.

      • “We need some rates of temperature change…”

        My first thought too.
        ..and mine.
        I recently walked into a store advertising ” 40% off everything “. Eyeing a sleeveless shirt I asked if the sleeves had been 40% of the shirt? Behind a cold-eyed stare I was told that it was a ladies shirt that didn’t have sleeves. I never did find out off what was the 40%, there were no prices displayed.
        I rest my case
        Cheers
        Mike

  5. ”This suggests that while mitigation could limit climate change threats for surface biodiversity, deep-ocean biodiversity faces an unavoidable escalation in climate velocities, most prominently in the mesopelagic (200–1,000 m).”

    Someone make it stop!

  6. Doesn’t NOAA put the whole of ocean warming at some 0.08ºC in 60 years

    Obviously time to PANIC !!!!!!

  7. “The acceleration of climate velocity for the deep ocean is consistent through all tested greenhouse gas concentration scenarios …”.
    Is “acceleration of velocity” a tautology or do they mean a change in the rate of change of velocity.
    Whatever; the ocean temperatures at 200 -1000 m have been measured for only 16 or so years, far too short a period of reliable data to infer anything.
    According to Argo data since 2004 the overall global ocean temperatures at 200m depth have increased around 0.05C and at 1000m around 0.03C.
    https://www.climate4you.com/images/ArgoWorldOceanSince200401%2065N-65S.gif

    • I expect they mean change in the rate of change of velocity. Since the change is very small, there’s a small denominator. That makes it easier to find increases in the rate of change. If someone bothers to look at the article, I expect the numbers to be ridiculously small. That’s probably the reason they were not prominently featured.

      • Its ‘headlines ‘ which matter not facts , a fairly standard climate ‘science ‘ approach

      • We are talking about a scale of hundredths of degrees per decade. (and tidal gauges indicate a near linear slow ocean warming trend for the last 150 years of records).

        How is this taken seriously?

    • Obviously, none of the 10+ authors and reviewers know the meaning of velocity and acceleration.

    • ‘ IMAGE: Climate velocity (km decade-1) for contemporary (1955-2005)’

      The ‘data’ for the baseline(contemporary) image stops conveniently before Argo data was available (3000 floats by nov. 2007) . So what are these findings based on? And wouldn’t it makes more sense to use the 2007-2019 limited data, rather then 1955 – 2005 virtually non-existent data?

      Other than some circular reasoning i see nothing of intrest in this article.
      (Circular reasoning being that if you program a computer simulator to warm with an increase in co2, you run some scenarios and the results are more warming with increasing co2 that only proves that your simulator does what you told it to do. Nothing else!

      To see if that result is useful one needs to compare the simulation with reality.
      The apparent omission of the only semi-useful data we have on the deep ocean(well up to 1000m at least) and therefore the only chance of validating the simulation, means that this article has no scientific value at all. No matter how many universities cooperated on it.

      (Rant-off, sorry i need more coffee)

      Stay sane,
      Willem

      • I haven’t seen any media representations of Argo data for quite awhile. I would guess that means it isn’t scary enough.

    • “The magnitude of contemporary climate velocity is relatively fast in the surface layer, slower in the mesopelagic layer, but becomes fastest in the bathypelagic and abyssopelagic layers (Table 1 and Fig. 1). This contrasting pattern with depth arises because the rate of warming (the numerator of climate velocity) is presently greatest at the surface and declines with depth but the spatial gradient (the denominator of climate velocity) becomes gentler (flatter) with depth (see Extended Data Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 1).”

      A gentle denominator will take care of it. Wasn’t in my physical oceanography course so I need this translated.

    • Has to be the third derivative of climate, with climate velocity being the first derivative:

      ACV = C”’

      However, they failed to state what variable the derivatives are with respect to.

      Grade = F

    • “According to Argo data since 2004 the overall global ocean temperatures at 200m depth have increased around 0.05C and at 1000m around 0.03C”

      A very small increase, if it is even an increase . Hundreths of a degree accuracy? Only in computer models.

      And of course, the measuring instruments only measure a small portion of the ocean to begin with.

    • Usually the temperature difference along a thermal probe itself is more than .05 C, and the temperature difference in 10 feet vertical depth of ocean can be significant too. Saying the ocean temperature has changed by an average of .03 C is like saying the average surface wind speed has increased by 0.03 miles per hour. Insignificant to the point of being an aberration in measurement method, location, instrument accuracy, and result interpretation. Besides, keeping track of ocean temperatures is only of secondary importance for those sub tracking floaties, and is simply a means to justify more of them.

      • DMac
        I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that the claimed average temperature change is of the same order of magnitude as the uncertainty, were they to be intellectually honest enough to cite the uncertainty.

  8. The trick for obtaining grants seems to be to hypothesise that something is happening in an inaccessible location, mention Climate Change and wait for the money to roll in, justified by the cost of reaching the aforementioned location.

    I have a model which suggests that the lack of increased temperatures at seal level is due to the heat sinking down through the Earth’s crust until it impacts the Mohorovičić discontinuity. I will require upwards of 20bn to revive the old MoHo project, from a location somewhere off the Bahamas….

  9. What the #@%#@%£ 🥵 is climate velocity the term isnot defined either in the abstract or in the article presumeably the term is well known by the climate cogniscenti and as i am not a Climate Scientisr it is impertinent of me to ask. Will someone supply a definition

    • The caption for the Danger! graphic indicates climate velocity = kilometers per decade: Thus the units of climate are kilometers!

      The units of acceleration of climate velocity are therefore kilometers per cubic decade.

      This makes sense to someone? Anyone?

    • The speed at which the money comes in, divided by the number of times you have to think up excuses for your predictions not according with reality…

  10. I have been watching that Atlantic La Nina form up since around the middle of April. It has now grown quite extensively since then, and deep cold pockets are forming over large areas of the North Atlantic. This is the coldest I have seen this ocean region since I started using earthnull. That is going to have future consequences. … https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-88.62,26.84,593/loc=-43.765,44.487

      • The tropics have been cooling over the month due to El Nino coming to an end. However, UAH tends to lag El Nino by several months and the Arctic has continued to be warm as has Siberia. This will limit any cooling. I’m thinking the May UAH value is going to see only a marginal drop. Still, likely a drop and likely not the end of the downward trend.

        The Arctic and Siberia will likely cool more in June and July. I’m thinking we could see values less than .2 C by August and/or Sept. even before any La Nina effects come into play. If this does occur it would essentially mean the pause is still in effect.

  11. “…analyzed contemporary and future global patterns of the velocity of climate change across the depths of the ocean…”

    S.L.B.T.M.

  12. “Climate velocity” — or how far you have to travel in order to keep mean temperatures *exactly the same*.

    The estimated warming of the ocean waters is trivial, so how to stoke alarmism? Certainly not by publicizing the fractions of a degree involved. Instead, you take advantage of the water not varying nearly as much by latitude, showing that marine life would have to travel much further to avoid that dreaded fraction of a degree increase than they would to avoid a larger increase at the surface of the ocean.

    Left as an exercise for the reader is to wonder whether any marine life actually needs to avoid such a tiny increase in the first place, or how far they would have to travel vertically instead of horizontally to maintain the exact same temperature. Or for that matter, comparing the variability experienced of actual temperatures to the change of mean temperature. The important thing is to have something dramatic to publicize, not to admit that the long-term anomaly change is trivial compared to the actual temperature swings already handled by the living things on the planet.

  13. But the global average temperature (for what it is worth) has not increased significantly this century, despite CO2 doing so. How does the deep heat get into the deep oceans without being recorded in the shallows seas (SST)?
    And if CO2 is not increasing temperatures as it should, how does it cause climate change?

    • I have asked this question many times in the past and never, ever gotten any kind of an answer.

      My only conclusion is that the AGW alarmists think there is a big Star Trek “transporter” somewhere in space that is transporting the heat directly to the deep ocean.

      • Tim
        It must be our descendants in the future trying to remove heat from the surface to make their world more habitable.

        • Must be a sci-fi story in there somewhere. Sounds like something “Doc” Smith would write.

          • Oh come on, hasn’t ‘The Twilight Zone’ occurred to any of you? Do do do do do do…

  14. Of course the same can be said about a cooling ocean. How did life in sea survive the 90 Ka cold periode? How did the rapid sea level rise of 120 meters at the beginning of the Holocene affect this zone? The only way to warm the ocean surface as far as I know is by direct sunlight. Even so a warmer ocean would have more evaporation > more clouds > more cooling.

  15. More utter, utter BS. If oceans are warming, good, it may delay the inevitable next glaciation.

  16. future global patterns , or keep rolling the dice until you get the number you need to win .
    Meanwhile given 2/3 of the planet is Ocean the range or measurements that exist on it are like using one grain of sand on one beach to analysis all the worlds beaches .

    And best thing about the deep ocean is that it is ‘deep’ so you claim all things of things are in it , lost cities , sea monsters , space craft and ‘heat’ knowing it is very unlikely others can prove you wrong .

    • knr what you say resonates on so many levels. CAGW is designed to create feelings of fear and doom, they have been so manipulated they have lost sight of the joys in life. So many have already wasted years of waiting for long past predictions to come true and they have learned nothing, and wasted their life in fear. After more then fifty years of end of world predictions and 100% of them have not eventuated.

      We know less about the ocean than we know about deep space. I choose to believe climate realists. It is arrogant to believe that human beings can influence climate to the extent that they claim and climate has not in fact changed to the extent that they proclaim.

      To instill fear in people is to control them. To live in fear is not living at all.

  17. Climate velocity, definition :

    – Speed at which a climate pseudo-scientist eventually crashes into the wall of stupidity. Kind of measure of nonsense applied to the climate pseudo-science.

    Example :
    – Most of the climate clowns are dreadfully increasing their climate velocity.

  18. Climate has a velocity now; not just a rate of change -well who knew. Please can we all have some money to join in this game. Just get a dictionary and flick the pages and stop it by inserting a digit at random on a page, reading the world found at the fingertip. So far I have discovered terrifying new evidence of its much worse than we thought:
    climate lovechild
    climate rout
    climate twangle
    climate languor
    But I think the film ” Apocalypse Now” had the best word we can all die for , which was something like
    climate Boomdang!

  19. animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges to maintain their preferred thermal habitats in the future.

    So they have to adjust the distance to keep from the black smokers?

  20. This crap is also being pushed by the intellectually challenged Graham Readfearn at the Guardian.

    “Climate change in deep oceans could be seven times faster by middle of century, report says

    Uneven heating could have major impact on marine wildlife, as species that rely on each other for survival are forced to move”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/26/climate-change-in-deep-oceans-could-be-seven-times-faster-by-middle-of-century-report-says

    Another climate change activist with a media keyboard.

    • “Our results suggest that deep sea biodiversity is likely to be at greater risk because they are adapted to much more stable thermal environments,”

      I have not read the study but I expect this conclusion has little scientific support, i.e., it just sounds good. Do they have references where unstable thermal environments have been studied and bad outcomes documented? My guess is that this is considered consensus opinion rather than documented science.

      • The study is paywalled, but nothing in the figures appears to be quantifying the biological impact if the marine wildlife just doesn’t move. A number of the references appear to be actual impact studies from their titles; but given the tiny amount of warming experienced, the error in measuring actual local temperature, and the difficulty of studying marine life in fraction-of-degree differentials inside the ocean, I’d be flabbergasted if there were any impact studies in existence that are both solid science and show significant effects. Please correct me if there’s any such non-paywalled study to examine.

        Still, judging from the abstract *this* paper is about the *relative* speeds of climate velocity between layers of the ocean (current and projected future), which has nothing at all to do with whether the observed/predicted climate velocity actually matters biologically at all. It would be appropriate for them to see how well the models used to project the future did at projecting the past, but I see no hint of that in the figures either.

        The good news is that it’s too late to do anything about “climate velocity”, even under RCP 2.6, so the abstract is calling for different policies instead of aggressive mitigation: “To optimize opportunities for climate adaptation among deep-ocean communities, future open-ocean protected areas must be designed to retain species moving at different speeds at different depths under climate change while managing non-climate threats, such as fishing and mining.” (Of course, I’m sure the authors are all in favor of aggressive mitigation as well….)

        The idea that marine biology is incapable of adapting to temperature increases that are both very very tiny and very very slow goes against everything I’ve ever heard or read about natural selection. Advocating specific policy proposals, as the abstract does, isn’t science at all.

      • Jim

        Ocean temperature at all depths is changing all the time, and life changes with it.

        For instance 2.6 million years ago the Pleistocene began with the connection of North and South Americas. A major oceanic rearrangement and cooling followed. Up to 40% of whale species went extinct as did the Megalodon shark which predated on whales. However whales then got much larger as the polar seas became extremely productive of plankton due to the strong vertical mixing and nutrient upwelling caused by the cold temperatures.

        https://youtu.be/BTPcq2HczVY

    • “Uneven heating could have major impact on marine wildlife, as species that rely on each other for survival are forced to move”
      Follow the food!

      • Every freshman oceanographer knows that vast populations of aquatic organisms move toward better conditions all the time (daily is common). The “vastness” of their numbers tells us that not all make it to the better conditions…but because of the big numbers…enough do remain in existence. That is the way this world works. If a species doesn’t do things to survive variations in conditions that happen with regularity on this planet, that species ceases to exist.

        Every species in existence today has passed the test of surviving temperature variations an order of magnitude greater than is possible (from CO2 effects) in the next several centuries.

      • Clyde this person is truly ambitious, they want to stop climate change and sin too? Good luck with that, though they could appease somewhat by scrapping the sin that is renewables. Conflict of interests?

  21. While the “uncertainty of the results increases with depth“ the certainty that we are all gonna fry and destroy the biosphere increases the more superficial the analysis. According to the type of logic supporting this and other similar papers there should be no life on Earth having been wiped out long ago by much more substantial and natural changes in climate. What gives?

    • That was natural change over millennia. Now it is due to humans all at once.
      Sarc off. And yes, I have heard this excuse.

  22. “… the team found that global mean climate velocities in the deepest layers of the ocean (>1,000 m) have been 2 to nearly 4-fold faster than at surface over the second half of the 20th century.”

    The above statement appears to be in opposition to previous studies:
    “Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably.”
    https://scitechdaily.com/nasa-data-show-earths-deep-ocean-warmed/

  23. Another news article has the lead author stating, ““We calculated the climate velocity throughout the ocean for the past 50 years and then for the rest of this century using data from 11 climate models.” It doesn’t mention which models were chosen. More importantly, it doesn’t mention if the Russian model was one of the eleven.

  24. The scariest, most evil and dangerous heat of all though, is the “hidden heat”. See, it’s the heat you can’t see that gets you. At least one gazillion hiroshimas worth of heat has gone AWOL, into the oceans without so much as a by-your-leave. We know this because of highly accurate models known as GCMs. These have been developed and fine-tuned over the years by thousands of scientists using state-of-the-art technology processing literally trillions of data points, so we know they can’t be wrong.
    /sarcnado

  25. B.S.

    100% of the Deep sea species were around during the last several (if not all of) glaciations. During that span of time, the oceans have been a lot warmer (sea level 100 m higher) and a lot colder (sea levels 100’s of m lower).

    What scientist would assume that these creaturs would not adapt to a quarter of a degree temperature variance? And it is not likely that the Deep oceans will ever see 1/4 degree change in the next 4 centuries.

  26. “Despite rapid surface warming, the team found that global mean climate velocities in the deepest layers of the ocean (>1,000 m) have been 2 to nearly 4-fold faster than at surface over the second half of the 20th century. The authors point to the greater thermal homogeneity of the deep ocean environment as responsible for these larger velocities.”

    Huh? Heat transport in an homogeneous media like the ocean is almost all conduction, especially at depth. Have none of the AGW alarmists ever heard of the Law of Conduction?

    if u = u(x, y, z, t) then the partial of u with respect to the partial of t (i.e. the rate of change of temperature) gives the velocity of change of u at any point.

    If you make the following assumptions:
    1. the ocean is an infinite plane of infinite depth
    2. the ocean surface is a constant temperature in x and y.
    3. the ocean is a homogeneous medium

    Then the partial of u with respect to the partial of t is:

    A(the second partial derivative of u with respect to the second partial derivative of z. )

    where A is the thermal conductivity of the medium.

    I know this is simplistic but I can’t find my thermodynamic textbook from 50 years ago right now. Simplistically, however, this basically says a point x below the surface of the ocean changes in a direct relationship to the surface of the ocean.

    (please – I understand that there are lots of other factors such as colder, denser water sinks. It’s why I made the simplifying assumptions. But it is still a fact that the deep water cannot just change its temperature on its own, it has to be driven by heat being transported from the surface according to the conduction equation. There is no Star Trek transporter somewhere out in space.)

    • Tim
      My suspicion is that your remarks will go right over the heads of most of those (Nick Stokes excepted, he has other issues.) who are acolytes of the religion of Gaia. As an example, where is Loydo? Is he/she criticizing your statement? Crickets!

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