Global warming makes the oceans unable to absorb the heat generated by increased greenhouse gas emissions. But the increase in temperatures in the Mediterranean is so high that it triggers the formation of crystals that in turn emit COtwo.
The warming of the seas and oceans triggers a cascade of secondary effects, among the best known: meltingmelting ice, sea level rise, waveswaves of heatheat underwater and ocean acidification. But, according to the United Nations Climate Action department, there are more and more indicators that show that the oceans are no longer capable of absorbing the greenhouse gases that accumulate in large quantities: they play less and less their role as regulators of the climate, against an “overflow” of polluting particles.
Heat leads to the formation of carbonate crystals.
This process is particularly evident in the Mediterranean: the sea would even enter a stratification phase. It’s about the separationseparation of water between several layers, a process observed in all the oceans and seas of the world. This stratification is characterized by three layers: a surface layersurface layera middle layermiddle layer and a deep layer. The more the warming increases, the more the layers prevent the water from mixing, modifying the exchanges between the CoalCoaloxygen and others nutrientsnutrients.
However, the excessive heat of the eastern Mediterranean during the summer prevents it from absorbing gases, and even more so, from beginning to release them. How ? As stratification increases, density differences between ocean layers also increase: this enhanced stratification leads to the formation of carbonate crystals, which emit COtwo.
A phenomenon aggravated by contamination by microplastics
15% of the gases emitted into the atmosphere over the Mediterranean Sea come from these crystals. A process that could be accelerated by two factors: the continuous increase in the temperature of the water, but also the contamination that allows the crystals to agglutinate. Increased industrialization, coastal settlements and tourism have led to highly polluted waters in many coastal areas of the Mediterranean.
Due to the weakness movementsmovements since tidestides and currents in the region, pollution tends to stay close to its source in the Mediterranean, and not be diluted as it is in other seas and oceans. The authors assume that these crystals probably need a nucleus to form: contaminant particles, in particular microplastics. The Mediterranean Sea is, in fact, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world by microplastics.