The page you are looking for is temporarily unavailable.
Please try again later

Tech & Science Marine heatwave: 'It's never been that hot before'

03:11  13 january  2018
03:11  13 january  2018 Source:   radionz.co.nz

Starfish eating Australia's Great Barrier Reef alarm scientists

  Starfish eating Australia's Great Barrier Reef alarm scientists A major outbreak of coral-eating crown of thorns starfish has been found munching Australia's world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, scientists said on Friday, prompting the government to begin culling the spiky marine animals. The predator starfish feeds on corals by spreading its stomach over them and using digestive enzymes to liquefy tissue, and the outbreak hits as the reef is still reeling from two consecutive years of major coral bleaching.

An unprecedented marine heatwave is causing Tasman sea temperatures to peak at up to six degrees above average. File photo Photo: rafaelbenari/123RF. Since November, the water has been more than 2°C above average, peaking even higher on some days.

Marine heatwave : ' It ' s never been that hot before '. 13 Jan 2018. If you've jumped in the sea this summer and found it to be a surprisingly warm temperature that's because the Tasman Sea is currently going through a " marine heatwave ".

Totaranui Seascape, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand (file)© Getty Images Totaranui Seascape, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand (file) An unprecedented marine heatwave is causing Tasman sea temperatures to peak at up to six degrees above average.

Since November, the water has been more than 2°C above average, peaking even higher on some days.

"It's never been that hot before," climate scientist Jim Salinger said.

"We looked at records back to 1900 and there's nothing anywhere near this."

Fishers in Doubtful Sound and Fiordland had reported catching snapper for the first time, while there are also anecdotes from surf life savers of bluebottle jellyfish appearing much earlier than normal, Dr Salinger said.

Bats' brains boil in Australia heatwave

  Bats' brains boil in Australia heatwave Hundreds of bats have died in sweltering conditions in Australia, with many dropping from their perches as the scorching temperatures "fried their brains", wildlife officials said Tuesday. A record-breaking heatwave saw the mercury rise to 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in Sydney's western suburb of Campbelltown on Sunday where hundreds, if not thousands, of the animals fell from trees after succumbing to the heat."They basically boil," Campbelltown flying fox colony manager Kate Ryan told the local Camden Advertiser."It affects their brain -- their brain just fries and they become incoherent.

It is indeed a new problem, a result of a rapidly warming climate: a marine heatwave had never been formally recorded until the past few years and the term wasn't even coined until 2011, Slezak reported. Welch described the havoc wreaked thus far by what climatologists termed "the blob," a hot spot off

In 2011, a marine heatwave off western Australia killed off a kelp forest and replaced it with turf seaweed. For 400 months in a row, our planet has been unusually hot . By Eric Holthaus in Analysis | May 18th 2018.

The balmy ocean tenperatures were being driven by a combination of two different climate patterns: the southern annular mode, and a La Nina weather system, he said.

The southern annular mode was in its positive phase, meaning westerly winds that swirled around the Southern Ocean had contracted towards Antarctica.

Dead shark prompts calls to remove nets

  Dead shark prompts calls to remove nets An environmental group is calling on the Queensland government to remove shark nets after locating a dead Great Hammerhead near a Gold Coast beach.Activist group Sea Shepherd says the shark's body was located on Monday in a net off Tallebudgera Beach by the crew of the Apex Harmony boat.

“ It got so hot that the kelp forests died,” Wernberg says. What was disturbing about this marine heatwave was that many of the vast underwater forests never came back. But El Niños had been seen before and these marine heatwaves appeared to be unprecedented.

This chaos was caused by a single massive heatwave , unlike anything ever seen before . But it was not the sort of heatwave we are used to thinking about, where the air gets thick What was disturbing about this marine heatwave was that many of the vast underwater forests never came back.

"We've not had the usual incursions ... of strong westerly winds, so that's really shut the door from the Southern Ocean for outbursts of cold air and rough weather to stir up the Tasman Sea."

The La Nina pattern meant more north-easterly winds, which encouraged the warm east Australian current to come further south towards New Zealand, Dr Salinger said.

Readings from floating gauges monitored by NIWA showed the warmer water was up to 50m deep, he said.

Our Changing World host Alison Ballance said extreme systems like the heatwave could have a profound affect on marine ecosystems.

Kaikōura biologist Jim Mills, who studied red-billed seagulls, had told her the warm water meant krill in the ocean was pushed much further down, beyond the reach of gulls who normally fed it to their young.

Instead, the gulls were feeding their chicks fish larvae and jellyfish - "anything they can find", Ms Ballance said.

Koala takes a dip during 40C heatwave .
It was not just the people of Adelaide trying to beat the heat yesterday, with a koala filmed taking a dip in the city’s east. The woman who filmed the marsupial told Adelaide Now the koala tumbled down the bushes and into a pond at the Morialta Conversation Park about 11am.It then spent about 10 minutes splashing around.“We had seen other koalas up in the trees but nothing like this; it was just lovely,” she told the newspaper.“He seemed to be enjoying himself.”A swim was in order after some parts of Adelaide reached 40C yesterday.Adelaide is expecting another scorcher today with the mercury forecast to hit 35C.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!