New research suggests marine heatwaves are getting longer and hotter — and are happening more frequently.
When scientists in Australia and Canada analyzed marine heatwave patterns between 1925 and 2016, they found a 34 percent increase in the frequency of heatwaves across the world’s oceans. They also found modern heatwaves are 17 percent longer than a century ago.
“Our research also found that from 1982 there was a noticeable acceleration of the trend in marine heatwaves,” Eric Oliver, a researcher at Dalhousie University in Canada, said in a news release. “While some of us may enjoy the warmer waters when we go swimming, these heatwaves have significant impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, fisheries, tourism and aquaculture. There are often profound economic consequences that go hand in hand with these events.”
Scientists published their findings this week in the journal Nature Communications.