More than half of world's oceans already being affected by climate change, study finds

Climate change could already be taking its toll on more than half of the world’s oceans, scientists have discovered.

Warming water temperatures and higher salt levels are key indicators that human-caused climate change is starting to impact the health of oceans.

The study found higher salt levels in the oceans (Photo: Reuters)The study, published in Nature Climate Change , is one of the first of its kind to include deep-sea observations and modelling, where climate impacts are much harder to detect.

Yona Silvy, a doctoral student at LOCEAN-IPSL/Sorbonne University, and lead author of the study, said: “We were interested in whether the levels of temperatures and salt were great enough to overcome natural variability in these deeper areas, that is if they had risen or fallen higher than they ever would during the normal peaks and troughs.

“This affects global ocean circulation, sea-level rise and poses a threat to human societies and ecosystems.

Professor Eric Guilyardi, co-author at the University of Reading and LOCEAN-IPSL, Laboratory of Oceanography and Climate in Paris, said: “We have been detecting ocean temperatures change at the surface due to climate change for several decades now, but changes in vast areas of the ocean, particularly deeper parts, are much more challenging to detect.”

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