Global Warming

Marine Heat Wave

Climate experts warn that the third marine heat wave in four years is developing off northern New Zealand as the country enters the southern summer. Such a warm-water designation means the ocean temperatures have been cooler 90% of the time in the past. “We’re not even at the peak of our sea-surface temperatures, which typically occur over January and February,” said meteorologist Ben Noll of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Heat waves at sea can alter the marine ecosystem, bringing in species of fish and other aquatic life from more tropical waters. They can affect the land environment as well.

The 2018 marine heat wave off northern New Zealand led to a population boom of some land animals, including rodents.

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