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Giving Compass' Take:
• As climate change continues to warm the oceans, researchers have turned to microscopic sediments to observe trends.
• How can this data best be used by organizations trying to curb climate change and save our oceans?
The Caribbean Sea bordering Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach is a startling aquamarine color. Over 1,500 miles away, the Atlantic Ocean next to Coney Island is a dark bluish-green. And Bondi blue, the color of the original iMac computer, was named after the teal hue of the Tasman Sea off the coast of the eponymous Sydney beach.
Pollution isn't to blame for these stark differences. As light bounces off and passes through water, it reflects the color blue back to our eyes, but microscopic algae and tiny sediments known as colored dissolved organic matter muddy the metaphorical waters and cause oceans to appear green, red, or brown.
Now, scientists are trying to use these microscopic sediments to help them better predict climate change.
Ocean color has become a vital metric in climate science in recent years, since it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure surface temperature across the world's vast oceans. Instead, equations relate color to temperature, transforming satellite images into de facto heat maps. Understanding what drives ocean color can then help climate scientists fine-tune their equations.
Read the full article about understanding climate change through our oceans by Madeline Bender at Pacific Standard.