Is the Ocean Losing Its Memory?
A new report claims our oceans are losing their memory, something that may impair our ability to predict climate extremes and our ability to manage fisheries.
The study is tough slogging but there's a decent summary here.The oceans that surround us are transforming. As our climate changes, the world's waters are shifting too, with abnormalities evident not only in the ocean's temperature, but also its structure, currents, and even its color.
As these changes manifest, the usually stable environment of the ocean is becoming more unpredictable and erratic, and in some ways the phenomenon is akin to the ocean losing its memory, scientists suggest.
"Ocean memory, the persistence of ocean conditions, is a major source of predictability in the climate system beyond weather time scales," researchers explain in a new paper led by first author and climate researcher Hui Shi from the Farallon Institute in Petaluma, California.
"We show that ocean memory, as measured by the year-to-year persistence of sea surface temperature anomalies, is projected to steadily decline in the coming decades over much of the globe."