Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency describes the complex relationship between ocean and climate. ESA’s Climate Change Initiative will help us understand how oceans influence the climate and how climate change is impacting the oceans.
“Earth’s oceans are huge heat stores, soaking up 93% of the excess heat from human activity over the past 70 years. Ocean currents redistribute heat around the planet, from the Equator to the poles. Where this ocean heat goes influences weather patterns and regional climate,” explains ESA.
“As well as absorbing heat, oceans are a natural carbon sink, absorbing a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. This has led to the acidification of ocean water, threating marine life.
The amount of heat and carbon dioxide absorbed depends on a number of ocean variables, all of which can be measured from space.”
The amount of heat and carbon dioxide soaked up by the ocean depends on specific variables, including phytoplankton, temperatures, waves, salinity, and ice cover. Satellites can be used to measure these variables from space.
“From their unique vantage point, satellites provide key information for understanding the complexities of our planet and monitoring environmental issues,” says ESA.
Video Credit: ESA