Using the sea of Japan to predict changes in the global environment
by Philip Chilton
Recently a new field of science has been developing of analysing chemical substances in the sea to observe how the waters of the oceans circulate.
Ocean waters are continually circulating the Earth in a bi-millennial cycle.
For example the freezing waters of Greenland sink to the ocean bed and flow south along the Atlantic Ocean, it then moves into the Pacific where it once
again rises to the surface, gains heat energy and moves north once more to complete the cycle. This ‘heat-energy conveyor belt’ influences global
patterns a great deal. A Chinese scientist, based in Japan, called Zhang Jing is currently studying the sea of Japan. Which has a
comparatively short circulatory cycle of 100 to 300 years. By studying this small region they
hope to understand more about how global currents work.
Research already carried out reveals that there is 10% less Oxygen dissolved in the Lower Depths of the Sea of Japan than 20 years ago. This means that
circulation is slower and hence Global climates could change.
Could this have any affect on Britain? Recently we have been battered by storms and this winter is one of the wettest on record. In Bournemouth we
have warm ocean currents coming in from the Atlantic, if these were to change then it is fairly
definite that our climate would too, however we cannot be sure if it would become wetter or drier, or warmer or colder.
Whatever happens we’ll keep you posted!
Some of the information in this MOO report was taken from issue 13 of