The Earth might not appear blue in next 80 years: MIT research

Astronomers believe Earth will see a major change in this century.


A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), claims that the oceans will change color by end of 21st century. This will also alter the appearance of our planet from space which is blue.

The Earth might not appear blue in next 80 years: MIT research


The findings suggest that climate change has been affecting phytoplanton - the small sea creatures inside the oceans significantly. This could lead to the change in color of the Earth. "There will be a noticeable difference in the color of 50 percent of the ocean by the end of the 21st century," said lead author Stephanie Dutkiewicz.

"It could be potentially quite serious. Different types of phytoplankton absorb light differently, and if climate change shifts one community of phytoplankton to another, that will also change the types of food webs they can support," Dutkiewicz added.

The study said the blue regions like the subtropics will reflect less phytoplankton and appear darker. They will also support less life as well. Regions which are green now near the poles might turn a deeper hue as the temperature continues to rise. The study can found in the journal Nature Communications.

The oceans appear blue in color because of the water molecules that absorb all sunlight except for the blue color. Also, many organisms absorb less green and reflect more green light. The researchers prepared a global model that shows the growth and interaction of different species of phytoplankton.

When they increased the temperatures by up to 3 degrees Celcius by 2100, they learned that wavelengths of light in the blue, green band were quick to respond. It was observed that the blue and green color showed a very clear response to climate change.

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