Monday, July 15, 2024

Global boiling period.. Why are scientists looking for extraterrestrial oceans?


Introduction to Translation

Humans have lived with a variety of life forms for hundreds of thousands of years, billions of years ago on the back of a giant wonderland, a planet that is astonishingly different from any other planet scientists have ever discovered. , and that difference appears – most obvious – in the water of the planet, which – because of its abundance – is called the blue planet. But these days we are going through what we can call a “great tragedy” related to the warming of our planet. In this article, “The Atlantic” editor Marina Gorin connects two seemingly distant things, the era of global warming we’re currently going through and scientists’ efforts to learn about other planets like our blue one. May we know that the earth has no other refuge than this very small, fragile place, in that vast universe!

Translation text

Currently, the ocean off the coast of South Florida is experiencing a long, hot summer, with temperatures hovering near 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius) for several weeks (article written Aug. 2) before dropping to 80 degrees (26.6 Celsius). That means the third largest barrier reef in the world today is damaged and dying. Because of this confusion around the world, scientists decided to collect samples from coral reefs and transfer them to cool and safe laboratory tanks.

Complicating matters further, a section along the coast topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) last month, which makes more sense in a hot tub than in the ocean. As a result, some Florida coastal residents have decided to give up regular ocean swimming because it’s not as appealing to them as it once was. Other parts of the world are also starting to get regular ocean heat waves.

Ocean heat waves

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 44 percent of ocean water is currently experiencing a sharp rise in temperature. Contrary to expectations, this sharp temperature rise did not surprise experts, because the 2023 El Nino event (a phenomenon that occurs in the oceans due to an increase in surface water temperature, which affects the weather and climate in many areas around the world).

To confirm this, Dillon Amaya, a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Physical Sciences Laboratory, says, “Climate change is the main reason these ocean heat waves are becoming more common every day.” June had already broken all records for global ocean temperatures, and then came July, which was even heavier and hotter in temperature. So according to an experimental forecast system run by Amaya and his colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, half the world’s oceans could face a heat wave by September.

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Earth is known to be an ocean-hugging planet, and even with our best telescopes we’ve yet to observe anything similar in the universe, so we don’t know exactly how rare and how hard our planet might be. Something like that will happen again. However, here we are not shy about making the situation worse, slowly and gradually raising the temperature of the oceans and changing the basic composition of the Earth’s ecosystem.

Oceans have been able to absorb excess heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions in recent decades, one of the most effective ways to save the planet and protect us from the effects of climate change. Humans may experience scorching heat on land this summer, but the future of our planet — and therefore our future — is closely tied to the ocean.

Astronomers have spent years searching for worlds outside our solar system that might have oceans on their surfaces in the hope that they might be habitable homes. Of the more than 5,000 planets that have been discovered, scientists have discovered that only a few of them are located in the habitable zone (that is, at a reasonable distance from their star that allows water to be available in liquid form, or it is not too close. Water evaporates from the surface of the star, or it is not too far away) and it freezes. ). So far, researchers have not confirmed that any rocky Earth-sized planets have liquid water on their surfaces.

The dilemma of finding water

Research scientist Krista Soderland studied Jupiter’s moon Europa, which may harbor a salty ocean beneath its icy surface that could be home to microbial life. (Shutterstock)

Part of the problem is that it is difficult to detect oceans on planets outside our solar system with the technology available to researchers today. Charles Cadieux, an astronomer at the University of Montreal in Canada, says: “Although our planet is full of oceans, if we were to observe it as a planet, we would not be able to observe the water inside it. Outside of our solar system.”

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There are other oceans in our solar system, but they are hidden on the surface of the icy moons (which are distinguished by their ice-covered surfaces) and their exact composition is still unknown to us. Christa Soderland, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin in the United States, has studied Jupiter’s moon Europa, which hides a salty ocean beneath its icy surface that could be home to microbial life.

Soderland spends her days wondering about this world that embraces the ocean, but at the same time she worries about the world she lives in: “I really can’t understand the contradiction between the scientific findings regarding the icy moons and the oceans beneath their surface, and the concern about climate change and its impact. ” Earth and life on the planet. When I think about short and quick changes now, I wonder what the consequences will be for my children and how bad it will be. .”

Next year, NASA is scheduled to launch the Soderland mission, a spacecraft that will reach the moon Europa in 2030, carrying a plaque inscribed with a poem by the famous American poet Ada Lemon: Oh, the second moon! We, too, are made of water, made of vast seas so attractive.” It is true that this idea of ​​the connection and proximity of a strange universe unknown to us is wonderful and sweet, but re-reading this passage of the poem you may have the feeling that it is more of a luxury than a surprise. Our planet is made of vast seas, But if those oceans overheat, melting the shells and skeletons of sea creatures and allowing toxic algae to spread, those oceans deserve and beg for relief.

Some researchers believe that water arrived with asteroids that bombarded Earth billions of years ago and carried this water, while others believe that this water has been trapped within the planet since its first formation. (Getty Images)

Our planet did not begin with the presence of oceans, but rather after Earth cooled from its molten years. As for the question of how Earth got its water, that remains an open question. Some researchers believe that the water arrived with asteroids that bombarded the Earth billions of years ago and carried this water in, while others believe that the water was trapped inside the planet since it formed from the mountain-sized rocks that surrounded the Earth. The early solar system.

This September, a NASA spacecraft will bring back samples from an asteroid that hasn’t changed since that cosmic era, and these bits and pieces of rock could reveal the most important information about our existence, and scientists hope to reveal clues about these forces. The origin of Earth’s oceans and flooding them with chemical compounds that eventually led to the ignition of life on the planet.

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Global boiling point

In the face of climate change, our enthusiasm for new discoveries must be tempered by sadness, because as we learn more about how our planet’s oceans formed, we expose our planet’s waters to scorching heat. A major concern is that warming oceans are melting ice caps, intensifying hurricanes and destroying fishing industries. Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Sciences Division, says of the situation: “Earth has seen many changes since its inception, but now we’re driving it toward the abyss. We’ve never seen it before.”

Astronomers refer to the habitable zone around the star as the “Goldilocks” zone, or formally the “habitable zone,” where the climate is moderate, neither too hot nor too cold, but well suited for the flow of liquid water. Planet on the surface. Fortunately, Earth is just the right distance from our Sun in the habitable zone, and Earth will remain in this favorable position for a few billion years until the Sun warms enough to evaporate the oceans.

But on the other hand, floods, droughts, wildfires, hot days that can burn your skin, and seas that can kill fish and people alike make Earth uninhabitable. That’s why the Secretary-General of the United Nations declared last week: “The era of global warming is over, and global boiling has begun.”

Ultimately, climate scientists cautioned that global warming is not a scientific term and that officials have been predicting the current series of extreme weather events years in advance, and that what is happening now is not a small or normal change. , one with rather disastrous effects and consequences. However, we can take our motivation from the word “boiling” and urgently address the water issue, because it has become difficult to see what is happening around us, but we feel that everything is fine here. .


Translated by: Somaya Zahar

This statement has been translated Atlantic It does not necessarily refer to the Maidan site.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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