The hot water body is located east of New Zealand. Credit: ClimateReanalyzer.org
A body of hot water initially formed in the Pacific Ocean near New Zealand is heading towards South America.
This week satellite images of the anomaly in the ocean were spread by Climate Reanalyzer, a website developed by the Institute for Climate Change in the University of Maine.
Weather maps show an unusually warm water patch in the Pacific Ocean last Monday.
According to information provided by The guardian, the patch has approximately one million square kilometers and 1.5 times the size of the city of Texas.
What caused it?
According James Renwick, professor of physical geography and climate researcher at Victoria University In Wellington, conditions were caused by a combination of sunny days, high pressures and gentle winds.
Renwick said in a statement to New Zealand Herald:
Sea temperatures don’t really vary too much and a degree [Celsius], more or less, it is a big problem and this area is probably four degrees or more than that above average and that is quite huge. ”
The center of the body of water could be more than 6 degrees Celsius hotter than average, which makes it one of the warmest places on the planet at this time. ”
In the direction of South America
At the closing note, the information provided by Climate Reanalyzer, showed that the hot water patch was located between New Zealand and southern Chile.
This type of unusual weather pattern, called «marine heat wave», Can affect the distribution and development of creatures that live in the sea, and can even damage ecosystems.
In 2011, according to MarineHeatWaves.org, a heat wave hit Western Australia, increasing the number of tropical fish and affecting a type of algae that used to inhabit the site.
Between 2014 and 2016, another similar incident later dubbed “The blob»Which consisted of a warm body of water, hit the west coast of the USA.
Relationship with climate change?
Although it is difficult to relate an isolated incident with the climate change, research suggests that, like the terrestrial heat waves they have become more frequent and intense due to global warming, marine heat waves are doing the same.
According to a study published by the magazine Nature in 2018, the frequency and intensity of heat waves have increased worldwide by 34 percent and of that amount, 17 percent was between 1925 and 2016. In total the increase of 54 percent was determined in the number of days with marine heat waves.
This is not the first time that a similar event has been recorded in New Zealand (where the current hot water patch was born). In the summer 2017-2018 the waters reached temperatures of approximately 6 to 7 degrees above average. This happened during an extremely hot summer.
Could this hot water body cause sudden changes in the climate of South America? So far no new information has been confirmed, due follow-up must first be carried out in order to make an adequate forecast.
Source: The guardian