Ocean

Why ocean depth is key for how warming will affect marine life

Marine temperatures will exceed safe thresholds more quickly in deeper waters. Image: Unsplash/Marek Okon

Dr Yeray Santana-Falcón

Postdoctoral research scientist, CNRM-Méteo

Dr Roland Séférian

Research scientist, CNRM-Méteo

Share:

Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Ocean is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

Stay up to date:

Ocean

Geographic location and period of the six long-term Ocean Sites stations. Stations are grouped into polar (blue), temperate (green) and tropical (orange) ocean domains.
The Ocean Sites network comprises a global system of “long-term, deepwater reference stations measuring dozens of variables and monitoring the full depth of the ocean, from air-sea interactions down to 5,000 metres”. Image: Santana-Falcón
Vertical profiles (0-1000 metres) of Tmin (blue) and Tmax (red) thermal anomalies relative to temperature average over the observational period, for both observations (shading) and model (lines). Model profiles are represented with (bold lines) and without (thin lines) applying the observational mask in space and time. Dashed lines demarcate the different layers of the ocean.
The “vertical profiles” show ocean temperatures through the depth of the ocean. Image: Modified from Santana-Falcón & Séférian (2022)
Illustration of how changes in the lower and upper bounds of the thermal ranges in response to climate change may either expand, contract or shift toward cooling or warming the thermal range, possibly affecting marine ecosystems.
As the oceans warm, thermal range boundaries will change. Image: Santana-Falcón & Séférian (2022)

Schematic explaining how the evolution of Tmin and Tmax may result in the emergence of substantial changes in current thermal ranges.
When Tmin crosses current Tmax, the ecosystem is considered to be exposed to a completely new thermal environment. Image: Santana-Falcón & Séférian (2022)

Projected changes in thermal range (red and blue lines and shading) and percentage of novel environmental temperatures (purple lines) at the end-of-the-century across three emission scenarios. Coloured bars to the right of the charts indicate overall changes to the thermal range.
Most thermal ranges are expected to warm and expand or warm and shrink. Image: Modified from Santana-Falcón et Séférian (2022)
Discover

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

Have you read?

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:

OceanClimate ChangeClimate Indicators

Share:

Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

:55
This Storm-Proof Buoy Captures A Surprising Amount Of Wave Energy

Felix Richter

November 29, 2022

About Us
Events
Media
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2022 World Economic Forum