Ever warmer winters are changing the structure of the Black Sea

According to a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the climate changes that are leading to global warming are changing the structure of the Black Sea. The research is important because it could be useful to understand what could happen to the oceans of the world in the future if global warming continues at today’s pace.

Specifically, researcher Emil Stanev, an oceanographer at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Center for Materials and Coastal Research in Geesthacht, Germany, found that the warmest winters are heating the middle layer of the Black Sea, an area known as the layer intermediate cold. This is leading to a mixing of the same cold intermediate layer with the other two layers of water, the upper one oxygenated and the lower one devoid of oxygen.

According to the study, the temperature of this layer has warmed by 0.7 ° C over the past 14 years. The infiltration of the central layer in the two neighboring layers could lead to potentially unpredictable impacts on all life forms present in the Black Sea. In particular, this “restructuring” could lead to various corrosive or harmful chemicals, such as sulphides, to move from the bottom of the sea to the surface, which would affect not only marine life but also tourism.

The study could be important to understand how the same changes are occurring in the oceans: studying the latter, which are huge bodies of water without interruption, can sometimes be difficult for scientists who often prefer to study limited regional water masses, as can be that of the Black Sea.