Oceans on our earth will turn a deep green by the end of the century as climate change affects the planet, a study has predicted. Rising global temperatures will mean that over half of the world’s waters will shift colour by 2100, according to the report.
This is because warmer waters will change how populations of tiny aquatic creatures called algae grow.
Blue regions such as the subtropics will become even more blue, as algae – also known as phytoplankton – are killed off by the extreme heat.
Green regions such as areas near the poles will turn a deeper green as warmer temperature trigger huge blooms of the small organisms, according to the study.
As well as turning the world green, the changes could wreak havoc on Earth’s ecosystems, scientists warned.
“If climate change shifts one community of phytoplankton to another, that will also change the types of food webs they can support.”
Algae reflects green light, and so causes the oceans to appear greener when pictured from space. Climate experts created a computer model that predicted how the creatures might grow and change the colour of our planet in the event of extreme climate change.
It looks at how the sea’s colour might change if the global temperature would have gone up to 3 degrees celcius by 2100. The changes were dramatic, with large swathes of the ocean turning green by the end of the century.
“The changes won’t appear huge to the naked eye, and the ocean will still look like it has blue regions in the subtropics and greener regions near the equator and poles,” said Dr Dutkiewicz.
“But it’ll be enough different that it will affect the rest of the food web that phytoplankton supports.”
This confirms the idea that “hot and dry” years have doubled since 1931 due to severe global warming.