Thursday, April 09, 2020

Exploring Ocean Data

The Ocean Navigator is an interactive map for visualizing and exploring scientific data about the world's oceans. The map allows you to browse and visualize a number of different ocean variables such as water temperature and ocean currents.

The visualizations available in the Ocean Navigator come from ocean data gathered from various models around the world. The individual datasets can be selected from the map sidebar. For example if you select the GEOPS Daily Forecast (Global Ice Ocean Prediction System) you can then select to view ocean forecast variables for global ice and ocean analyses, such as temperature, salinity and current water velocity.

If you select the compare datasets option you can view two different datasets side-by-side on two separate map views.

If you are interested in satellite observations of the world's oceans then you might also like OceanColour. This interactive map allows you to explore satellite observations of ocean color, from the Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative project. The tracking of changes in ocean colors can help scientists understand and monitor factors such as changes to phytoplankton populations and changes in biotic and abiotic material in river plumes and tidal fronts. It can also be used to track hazardous materials (such as oil spills) and monitor changing sea temperatures.

The Marine Heatwave Tracker visualizes marine heatwaves around the world and the intensity of those heatwaves. The map reveals that marine heatwaves are becoming much more common. Which could be very bad news for the planet and for the human race.

As global heating increases it has an effect on the temperatures of the world's oceans and seas. A marine heatwave is defined on the Marine Heatwave Tracker as being when a location experiences temperatures for five days in a row which are in the top 10% of temperatures ever recorded at that location. The number of marine heatwaves have increased by over 50% in the past 30 years. These warming seas can have a devastating impact on marine ecosystems. They could also have a devastating effect on humanity, which relies on the oceans for food, storm protection and the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

You can also explore where water temperatures are rising on Reuters' Ocean Shock map. Reuters' interactive globe visualizes how sea temperatures are rising and how this is affecting marine life around the world.

Reuters' Ocean Shock report includes a 3D globe which visualizes ocean temperatures around the world from 1970-2017. Press play on the globe and you can clearly see how ocean temperatures have dramatically increased over time, compared to their long-term averages, in many locations around the world. The globe is interactive so if you want to view the recent history of ocean temperatures for a different location you can just rotate the virtual globe.

As you scroll through Ocean Shock the globe updates with information about how rising sea temperatures are affecting marine life. The globe shows that many marine species in the northern hemisphere are shifting ever northwards as they seek the temperatures which they need to breed and live. Many of these same marine species are also moving deeper into the oceans to find the temperatures which they need in order to thrive.

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