What Are Marine Heatwaves? UPSC Exam Material

heat waves on the land are well known but marine heat waves are the ones that form on oceans have been on the rise in the waters around india says a study now moving on to the key findings the western indian ocean region experienced the largest increase in marine heat waves at a rate of about 1.5 events per decade followed by the north bay of bengal at a rate of 0.5 events per decade from 1982 to 2018 the western indian ocean had a total of 66 events while the bay of bengal had 94 events the marine heat waves in the western indian ocean and the bay of bengal increased drying conditions over the central indian subcontinent correspondingly there is a significant increase in the rainfall over south peninsular india in response to the heat waves in the north bay of bengal this is the first time that a study has demonstrated a close link between marine heat waves and atmospheric circulation and rainfall now let’s understand what are marine heat waves marine heat waves are periods of extremely high temperatures in the ocean these events are linked to coral bleaching sea grass destruction and loss of kelp forest affecting the fisheries sector adversely an underwater survey showed that 85 percent of the corals in the gulf of manar near the tamil nadu coast got bleached after the marine heat wave in may 2020 emerging studies have reported their occurrence and impacts in the global oceans but are little understood in the tropical indian ocean.

now let’s discuss about the impacts of marine heat waves marine heat waves affect ecosystem structure by supporting certain species and suppressing others marine heat waves can change the habitat ranges of certain species such as the spiny sea urchin of southeastern Australia which has been expanding southward into Tasmania at the expense of kelp forest which it feeds upon marine heat waves can cause economic losses through impacts on fisheries and aquaculture biodiversity can be drastically affected by marine heat waves in 2016 marine heat waves across northern Australia led to severe bleaching of the great barrier reef often they occur alongside other stressors such as ocean acidification deoxygenation and overfishing in such cases MHWs not only further damage habitats but also increase the risk of deoxygenation and acidification now it’s time for the practice question which of the following are impact or impacts of marine heat waves?

1. Change habitat ranges of species

2. Coral bleaching

3. Affecting the fisheries sector

The answer of this question in the comment section.

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