The ‘Hot Blob’
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
It was discovered in satellite imagery during a heat wave that has left massive devastation in Australia while the northern region of North America is suffering from severe winter storms.
It is about a one-million square kilometer area of the ocean where the temperature has risen between 4 and 6° C above the average for that area, according to James Renwick, Head of the Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington.
Renwick says that several factors have come together to create this ‘hot blob’ including an ‘anticyclone’ that reduced wind currents in that part of the Pacific. “If the winds are strong,” says Renwick, “everything is agitated; if not sufficiently agitated, warming will be absorbed on the ocean surface and generate a very warm layer of water. Without winds, the water temperature will rise and the current will move towards the coast.”
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean temperatures do not vary greatly. But in this case they have risen between 4 and 6 ° C in the middle depths of the ocean, a situation that is very rare.
According to Renwick, the hot water layer extends up to 50 meters below the surface, so scientists should study the impact on marine life in that area. Renwick says that this temperature rise will not have a direct impact on the climate and life of New Zealand.
As it moves towards South America, it may weaken a little before reaching a populated area, so experts believe that the effects will be nil or reduced in populated areas. The NOAA says that if the warming of the waters persists there will be fewer nutrients in the ocean, thereby altering the food chain.
According to Renwick, the body of warm water must cool down before it reaches South America. However, according to the journal Science, it is an uncommon phenomenon whose ecological, economic, political and social impact on today's world it is not yet possible to figure out.
Addendum: Such a situation has never been seen since the emergence of climate data records on the Planet. This foreshadows a very profound change in the life of our Planet and other nearby stars. We hope it will be for the good.