Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific

Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific – Sea ice reservoir in the Arctic Ocean in August 2009. Pablo Clemente-Colon / National Ice Center

Over Scandinavia, on the Atlantic coast of the Arctic Ocean, sardine, cod and other fish found off the coast of Europe migrate through ice-free waters to the depths of the Arctic basin to Siberia. To the west, thousands of miles over Alaska, kittiwakes and other polar birds are being replaced by southern birds as warm water flows north through the Bering Strait. Meanwhile, over Canada, killer whales are fleeing the sea ice in the Atlantic and increasingly in the melting Arctic.

Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific

Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific

As the Arctic warms faster than any other region of the planet, the once-clear boundaries between cold polar oceans and their warmer neighbors are blurring, opening the door to southern waters teeming with alien species, from phytoplankton to whales. At present, the “Atlanticization” and “pacification” of the North Sea is going on intensively. For example, a new paper by University of Washington oceanographer Rebecca Woodgate found that the volume of Pacific Ocean water flowing through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean has increased by 70 percent in the past decade, to 50 times the annual flow. From the Mississippi River. Another recent report also concluded that as the Arctic Ocean crosses the Atlantic, the cold Arctic layer system that blocks the Atlantic Ocean breaks up, allowing a flood of warmer, denser water to pour into the Arctic basin.

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Because the oceanographic conditions of the Atlantic and Pacific branches of the Arctic are different, the physical mechanisms behind these large changes are different. But increasing encroachment on both sides of the Arctic Ocean is driving heat, nutrients and temperate species to new polar latitudes, scientists say, with profound implications for Arctic Ocean dynamics, marine food webs, and long-term predator-prey relationships. .

The Arctic Ocean and its relationship to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Yale Environment 360 / Google Earth

Sue Moore is a marine biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Fisheries Science and Technology who studies marine ecosystems in the Pacific Arctic. “It’s a reset of all the tables.”

Major ecosystem impacts are more pronounced in the northern highlands. Some species seem to be finding new habitats, while others are losing land.

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Humpback whales, a subarctic species on the Pacific coast, have been seen in recent years as far north as Utkiavik (formerly Barrow) on Alaska’s North Slope, but have never been recorded. Moore thinks the whales feed on Pacific krill pulses and other food that drifts into the Arctic. Shrinking sea ice allows whales to arrive earlier and stay longer, giving them more time to feed and breed.

“We’ve had bowhead whales in the Chukchi Sea this winter — we’ve never seen them before,” he noted last winter, when sea ice in the Alaskan Arctic delayed and disappeared by up to three months. said Moore, who directs the Arctic Research Synthesis Project, an international collaboration of polar experts focused on changes affecting Pacific Arctic marine life.

Signs of ecosystem change are more pronounced in the arctic Atlantic, where the inlet is warmer, larger, and saltier.

Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific

Local fishermen on Canada’s Arctic west coast are reporting unusual salmon travels north, said Carolina Bihe, science adviser to the Alaska Council’s Inuit Nation. In 2008, scientists studying Arctic ecosystems were surprised to find walleye pollock and Pacific cod in the Beaufort Sea, said Elizabeth Loggerwell, an ecologist at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center who led the study. If these southern species spread north, they could replace the original Arctic fish. However, he cautioned that since there are no long-term records of fish studies in the area, it is difficult to determine whether they are truly new arrivals or are being observed scientifically for the first time.

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Scientists say invasion of Pacific waters has affected seabirds in Arctic Alaska. The traditional summer residents of the Chukchi Sea, such as black-backed kittiwakes, murres, and grebes, are being replaced by hitherto untouched lesser and lesser plovers, northern fulmars, and short-eared terns. Far North This change reflects changes in the bird’s diet and new prey species that flow northward through the Bering Strait. A recent paper concluded that these changes are reducing seabird populations as a whole.

Signs of ecosystem change are most pronounced in the Arctic Atlantic, where the overall Atlantic current is warmer, larger, and saltier. Moore likens the long Icelandic-Scandinavian invasion to the “garden hose” of the Pacific Ocean, with incoming water limited to the relatively narrow Bering Strait.

“When I came to Norway in 1974, the northern limit of the fish was in western Norway,” says Paul Wassmann, a professor of marine ecology at the Norwegian Arctic University in Tromsø and an ice-edge ecosystem expert. “Now you see [mackerel] in the Svalbard fjord,” he said, referring to Norway’s group of Arctic islands located 600 miles from the mainland at 81 degrees north. Invasion of the Atlantic caused warm-water species to spread northeast into the Arctic Ocean, and cold-adapted species such as Arctic cod attempted to retreat northward. In the last half-decade, Wassman says, “Northern Svalbard has a number of (Atlantic) flyovers that have never been observed before.”

In the Barents Sea, fish species normally found in the Atlantic, such as cod, redfish, and long eel, migrated north and replaced Arctic fish. NOAA Climate.gov

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One of the most interesting trends is the rapid expansion of phytoplankton and microalgae, the base of the marine food chain. A new study shows

, phytoplankton in the relatively cool Atlantic Ocean, about 350 miles (5 degrees) north of the European Arctic, is thriving today compared to 1989.

The northward spread of Atlantic phytoplankton could have major impacts on Arctic marine ecosystems, said Laurent Oziel, a polar oceanographer at Université Laval in Quebec City. In the Arctic, zooplankton use special phytoplankton to store large fat reserves to survive the harsh winter conditions. This makes them a food source for top predators such as fish that eat them and fish-eating seals and polar bears. But the southward migration of phytoplankton creates new species of zooplankton that are thinner and provide less food for native animals, Oziel said.

Which Ocean Is Warmer Atlantic Or Pacific

Southern zooplankton may not survive cold northern conditions. But Wassman said the thinning and disappearance of sea ice allows more light to penetrate deep into the Arctic Ocean, allowing algae to grow in areas that were previously lacking in nutrients, which can feed fish and organisms.

A Measure Of Salt

The Atlantic influence is also felt on the Canadian side of the North Sea. “In Hudson Bay, we’ve seen tremendous climate change for these subarctic species,” said Jennifer Provencher, a postdoctoral researcher in northern studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. “We’ve documented a shift from cold-water species to warm-water Atlantic species. In our case, it’s more oysters and sand than Arctic cod.”

Scientists are trying to better understand what is causing the increased invasion of species from the waters near the Arctic Ocean.

– killer whales. These large carnivores of the dolphin family were rarely found in normally icy waters, which orcas avoided due to their high dorsal fins. But as sea ice retreats and prey moves north, killer whales are now common in the Canadian Arctic, threatening narwhals, beluga and bowhead whales. According to Nature Canada blogger Rebecca Kennedy, “killer whales are poised to become the Arctic’s top predator.”

Scientists are trying to better understand what is driving the increase in invasions in the waters around the Arctic Ocean. Historically, the northward flow through the Bering Strait was driven by elevation differences—the Bering Sea is higher than the Chukchi Sea north of the Bering Strait, so the Pacific Ocean flows “downward” at the Arctic, explained Robert Picart. physicist. Oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who studies the Arctic Pacific circulation. Prevailing northerly winds tend to oppose the flow, especially in winter, preventing water from the Pacific from entering the Arctic. Woodgate’s study found that the increase in currents in the Pacific Ocean was not caused by changes in local winds. Rather, it is related to improving the climate

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