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Marine heatwaves don’t just hit coral reefs. They can cause chaos on the seafloor

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: 2023 has seen record-breaking average ocean temperatures
• The recent phenomenon of heat waves isn't limited to just land; oceans are also experiencing them, and they have devastating effects 

🔭 The context: Our understanding of ocean temperatures remains largely confined to the surface, but recent advancements have allowed us to measure oceanic phenomena more closely
• Scientists have realized that not only are marine heat waves increasing in frequency, but they're also intensifying

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Marine life, ranging from the surface to the seafloor, is sensitive to extreme temperature variations to the point that a small increase can lead to catastrophic events

⏭️ What's next: To mitigate ocean warming and protect marine ecosystems, we must cut carbon emissions
• Meanwhile, this understanding allows us to devise strategies to minimize underwater casualties and safeguard tourism and fishing industries

💬 One quote: "Of course, slowing ocean warming and preventing marine heatwaves from damaging ecosystems means slashing carbon emissions. But while we work on that, this knowledge could give us time to find strategies to reduce the undersea death toll" (Moninya Roughan, UNSW Sydney)

📈 One stat: Over 90% of the heat captured by greenhouse gasses is absorbed by the oceans

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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