DMPQ-Discuss the role of Climate change in the emergence of Marine Heatwaaves.

The oceans are warming at an unprecedented rate. Sea surface temperatures have increased at a rate of nearly 0.6°C per century since 1880.  This warming in turn increases the likelihood of marine heatwaves from occurring.

While marine ecosystems have evolved within a certain coping range and can adapt to conditions slightly outside that range, marine heatwaves manifest as extreme events that lead to ecosystem vulnerabilities.  In a warmer climate, we are more likely to experience these vulnerability-causing extremes.

Marine heatwaves have the potential to devastate marine ecosystems and cause economic losses in fisheries, aquaculture, and ecotourism industries. However, their effects are often hidden from view.  By raising general awareness of these phenomena, and by improving the scientific understanding of their physical properties and ecological impacts, there can be a better prediction of future conditions which will help to protect vulnerable marine habitats and resources.  It is necessary to implement measures to slow ocean warming and counteract the impacts of heatwaves in the ocean by building ocean resilience.

Governments must invest in nature-based solutions alongside ambitiously reducing fossil fuel-based emissions to achieve the goals agreed to under the Paris Agreement.  Funding agencies and governments must build research capacity to monitor heatwaves in the ocean, understand their impacts, and predict future heatwave events.

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