Greenhouse Gas' Correlation to Ocean Warming
Greenhouse Gas' Correlation to Ocean Warming During the last few months, Japan’s seas have experienced unprecedented temperatures, considered an extreme case of ocean warning. Climate change has been the most prominent factor influencing these concerns. As the first incident of humaninduced global warming in the oceans since August 2020, a study by the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) links the surge in industrialization of the past two decades to an increase in sea surface temperatures (Phys Org, 2022). While the direct implications of human activity have yet to be specified, it has been speculated that the culprit lies in greenhouse gas emissions.
Ocean Warming Affects Japan's Economy
An unlikely impact of ocean warming is the damage dealt to Japan’s fishing industry, a significant economic stakeholder. It is reported that salmon yields have decreased as much as 70% compared to the quantities back in the early 2000s. Rising temperatures in the Sea of Okhotsk, located between Siberia and Japan, are to blame. In some areas, the waters have warmed by 3°C, and are considered among the "fastest warming on Earth." The sea is primarily responsible for producing large volumes of ice, which further contributes to denser, oxygen and nutrient-rich water. Climate change and ocean warming have shrunk ice sheets by 30%, eliminating 130,000 square miles of the precious resource. The lack of Okhotsk seawater threatens Northern Pacific wildlife, even with the continuous release of juvenile salmon. Between 2003 and 2018, catches dropped from 258,000 tons to a meager 80,000 tons. The livelihoods of fishermen are in jeopardy as imported fish becomes cheaper than wild-caught, and some are considering aquaculture (Denyer et al., 2019).
Call To Action
Global climate action is necessary to address ocean warming. In Japan,
JAMSTEC’s Research Institute for Global Change contributed to the Sixth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Japan
Brandvoice, 2022). The document was delivered during the 2021 UN assembly
to promote global warming issues. The organization has also developed AI
technology to predict the most appropriate fishing grounds, reducing carbon
emissions from sea-faring vessels. Other initiatives to explore could include
the growth of aquatic plants, such as seagrass and kelp, which help absorb
greenhouse gas emissions along the Japanese coastline (Editorial: Japan
Needs to Do More to Tackle Ocean Warming, 2019). Slowing the progression
of climate change is key to reducing ocean warming, meaning individuals can
also contribute, to an extent. Consuming seafood from reliable, regulated
sources and cutting down on plastic waste can help individuals minimize their
carbon footprint (Thomson, 2019).