The warmest ocean in the world

Pacific Ocean – the warmest ocean

We know that there are only 5 oceans in the world. It is not at all difficult to list them:

  • The Pacific;
  • Indian;
  • The Atlantic;
  • The Arctic;
  • The South.

Which one is the warmest? To answer this question, we need to understand some physical features.

Which ocean is the warmest in the world

The Pacific Ocean has one important feature – it is the largest on Earth, which causes the high temperature of its surface waters.

At the equatorial zone, the temperature of the ocean exceeds 24°C. That is why the Pacific Ocean is considered the warmest in the world. The average temperature is 19°C. Interestingly, the Indian Ocean is only a few degrees less than the Pacific Ocean.

What does the ocean temperature depend on?

What effect does the temperature of the ocean water have? In fact, the scientists of the world have long wondered about this question and concluded that the influence of this indicator is really great. In the most obvious way it is reflected in the vital activity of organisms.

It is known that water has a large heat capacity, it literally accumulates heat, and so much so that it even surpasses the atmosphere. 10 meters of ocean water is actually warmer than the entire atmosphere of the Earth. At near-depth depths (3000 meters and more), the temperature readings are extremely low, at about 0°C.

One of the most important factors affecting the temperature index is latitude and zonality. The warmest areas are those located in the equatorial zone. It is noteworthy that the ocean can absorb heat at least 25% more than the land. Moreover, the entire world ocean actually shares heat with our world, playing the most important role on the planet for temperature regulation. Finally, light distribution, seasons and currents play a significant role in the issue. The latter are worth talking about in more detail.

What are sea currents

The most important characteristics of currents in the seas are physical and chemical properties. According to them, they can be divided into cold, desalinated, warm and salty. A characteristic feature of our world is the movement of warm currents from the equator to the poles, while cold currents move in the opposite direction.

Also all currents are accepted to divide on periodic, temporary and constant. Since our world is constantly in motion, the currents depend on it in the most real way. Thus, the northern part is characterized by movements, the direction of which goes to the right, while in the southern part they are directed to the left. There is a relatively small list of currents, but it makes no sense to consider them all. Which of them is worth learning more about? Many people are aware of the not so warm Canary Current, which moves southward from the north. It is characterized by a width of about 500 km on average, the minimum and maximum limits varying in marks from 400 to 600 km.

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The North Atlantic Current, which is a continuation of the Gulf Stream, should also be singled out. The latter can be often heard about in connection with predictions of global warming. It is also customary to single out in a special category the cold California Current, which moves along the corresponding USA state.

Obviously, it is the sea currents that subsequently influence the ocean currents. And what role do they play in shaping temperature?

The role of ocean currents

All currents in the world are commonly divided into zonal and meridional. The former go west and east, and the latter go north and south. We have already noted that now you can often hear about the warm Gulf Stream. And it’s not just that.

This current carries about 75 million tons of water every second. In fact, the Gulf Stream heats Europe, giving it a warm climate. Accordingly, when the temperature changes, the climate can also change. The Pacific Ocean is said to be the most violent in the world, largely due to its warm currents, which give rise to powerful hurricanes that sometimes shake the whole world.

What effect does temperature have on living organisms

Of course, the fact that the Pacific Ocean has achieved the status of the warmest ocean in the world seriously affects the life activity of organisms that live in it. We all know that life would not have existed at all if a reasonably comfortable climate did not prevail.

Temperature affects the chemical reactions of ocean life. When it rises, stability is disturbed. For example, many chemical compounds begin to break down as early as 35°C. On the contrary, too low values also have a detrimental effect on the vital functions, slowing them down. Of course, many ocean flora and fauna can survive different temperature ranges, but some of them are very sensitive and are therefore threatened when the temperature rises. In turn, they can occupy an important place in ecosystems, so their demise can affect the life of an entire ecosystem.

Changes in the temperature of currents can also affect ecosystems. Many times we have seen animals enter areas where they have never been before. This is due to changes in temperature. The inhabitants of the oceans are forced to change their place of dislocation, as they become uncomfortable. Such metamorphosis of ecosystems can significantly influence the change globally. We have also noted that temperature indicators are causing climate change.

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To give an example, consider the Antarctic Current. Many sailors are well aware of the devastating effect its storms have. Not without reason, a certain part of it was called “Roaring Forties”. This name came about because of the location of the area, which falls at a latitude of 40 to 50 degrees. Air currents generated by the rotation of the planet, coupled with the climatic features of the local environment generates extremely dangerous storms.

What is the climate of the warmest ocean in the world?

The western Pacific has a warmer climate than the eastern Pacific. Huge air currents pass over the surface and saturate with moisture, some of which will later give rise to storms. The equator is usually calm, while the subtropical and tropical zones are dominated by trade winds.

The most powerful storms are born in the tropics and pass by the Philippines, hitting Taiwan and Japan. The coastal areas of the world’s warmest ocean also have areas of typhoon origins that hit Central America.

What are the world’s warmest ocean’s water masses

There are several water masses that stand out in the Pacific Ocean:

  • Bottom;
  • the deep ocean;
  • intermediate;
  • subsurface;
  • surface.

The surface water mass is characterized by a uniform temperature distribution. Subsurface water masses have the same characteristic, albeit with minor variations. Their unique characteristics cause them to be distributed in the subtropics and cold latitudes in such a way that they remain surface for half the year and subsurface for the rest of the time.

Subsurface waters can have temperatures in the range of 13-18°C. It is characteristic of the tropics and subtropics. For the temperate zone, the range ranges from 6 to 13°C. Salinity is considered an important component. For example, in warm climates, subsurface waters are formed precisely because the more saline surface waters begin to sink.

What was the history of exploration of the world’s warmest ocean

The first active research expeditions began to be outfitted in the 18th century. It was they who made scientific discoveries of great importance to the world. The first scientific expedition to the Pacific Ocean was conducted in 1872 and lasted about 4 years. Through it, the world learned about the composition of the waters, flora and fauna, different types of soil, and much more.

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The currents were explored a little later, with Russian navigators taking the lead. In 1886 an expedition was launched on the corvette “Vityaz”, the leader of which was the oceanographer S. O. Makarov. The expedition devoted its research to the north. The results made it possible to learn that there is a circular rotation with counterclockwise direction for surface currents in the Pacific Ocean.

The British and Swedes, who conducted the Challenger 2 and Albatross 3 expeditions, were able to obtain physical characteristics of the waters. Significant success was also achieved by the Danes, conducting the expedition “Galatea”.

Influence of anthropogenic factors on physicochemical characteristics

There is no doubt that man influences the whole world and the world’s oceans in particular. The waters of the Pacific Ocean are constantly affected by anthropogenic factors. It is difficult to predict exactly what effect the pollution of its waters may have in the future.

When we talk about the impact of anthropogenic factors, global warming immediately comes to mind. And not without reason, because it is the rising temperature of the ocean that we should really be worried about. The Pacific Ocean is not a closed system, so it is closely connected to the World Ocean. We can already see how human activities have had an effect on the Arctic. Glaciers and sea ice are melting every year. Scientists have found that over the past 50 years permafrost has warmed by 5°C. Global warming is often attributed to the greenhouse effect, but various negative predictions are criticized. But this does not mean that there is no temperature change.

Again, melting ice and changing temperature regimes of currents cannot be denied. Meanwhile, the world is already seeing the deleterious effects on ocean waters. Droughts and heavy rains are becoming more frequent, and desertification is progressing. We noted at the beginning that it is the ocean that absorbs the most heat. Remarkably, the waters store heat even at significant depths. The World Meteorological Organization’s 2018 measurements confirmed the trend of rising temperatures in recent years. Above the surface, temperatures show a slower rise because there is considerable energy expenditure for evaporation. In the northern hemisphere, the heating shows up faster than in the southern hemisphere. There is also a very negative effect associated with acidification of the waters. An increase in dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater also increases temperature, as well as acidity. This is already a really serious process of deleterious effects, capable of destroying significant areas of coral reefs and many representatives of flora and fauna.

Studying the temperature of ocean waters is an important scientific task. Human influence on temperature readings is obvious, although strictly natural factors cannot be ruled out either. Nevertheless, together they have a significant impact on the entire world. The world ecosystem cannot exist without the oceans, so maintaining a physicochemical and climatic balance is essential for everyone.

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Which Ocean is Recognized as the Warmest

The Pacific Ocean, occupying a large natural water area, washes the 5 continents – Eurasia, Antarctica, South and North America and Australia. According to scientific data, it is considered the warmest ocean in the world. It is necessary to understand this issue in more detail.

Islands in the Ocean

Status of the warmest ocean in the world

The Pacific Ocean is the record holder in terms of area, length, water temperature. The latter depends on the climate of the nearby continents, geographic coordinates, and ocean currents.

The Pacific Ocean stretches 19,500 km from east to west and 15,800 km from north to south. It exceeds the entire land area of the globe by 30 million square kilometers.

Temperature and climate

The nature of the climate of the world’s largest ocean is determined by the influence of Eurasia, atmospheric circulation and the distribution of solar radiation over the zones.

On its territory almost all climatic zones can be observed – from the Antarctic to the Equatorial.

In the northern temperate latitudes in winter western winds dominate, which lose their strength in summer. In the northwest, northern monsoons prevail in winter, changing to southern winds in summer. Cyclones form on polar fronts, causing severe storms.

The tropics and subtropics are characterized by northeasterly trade winds. Typhoons and powerful tropical hurricanes can often appear here. In the equatorial climate zone, calm weather prevails.

Air and water temperature is subject to zonality. The western part has a warmer climate with an average air temperature of 25-27°C and a water temperature of 20-22°C.

On the equatorial line, which runs through the entire water area, the water warms up to 28°C. According to scientific data, its average value at the surface is 19°C, and at a depth of 3,000 meters – no more than 0°C.

Ocean temperature

Why the Pacific Ocean is the Warmest

Knowing why the waters of the Pacific Ocean are considered the warmest can explain many phenomena in its waters.

One of the important properties of water is the accumulation of heat. The surface area of the ocean covering the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is more than 179 million square kilometers.

The aquatic environment of the Pacific Ocean is well heated due to the high activity of the sun, the constant movement of air masses and ocean currents over a large water area, most of which is located in hot latitudes. The world ocean, by spreading heat to the land, has a great influence on the Earth’s climate.

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Role of currents

Scientists have identified the relationship between currents and the physical and chemical properties of the ocean. As climate influences the currents, so the latter influence climate. Cold currents move from the poles to the equator, and warm currents move in the opposite direction.

They carry large volumes of cold or warm water rapidly. In areas where cold water enters, the air temperature decreases, while warm water increases.

The reasons for this are thought to be:

  • Different densities of water masses;
  • precipitation;
  • winds;
  • evaporation, etc.

Scientists have identified 15 currents in the Pacific Ocean. The warmest of these is called the Kuroshio (water surface temperature – 25-28°C). It carries tropical waters to temperate latitudes at a speed of 3 m/s.

The powerful cold movement of water masses can be called the Western Winds Current, which in 16 years passes three oceans in a circle and brings the strongest storms.

The currents cause redistribution of precipitation and distribution of heat on water and land. Cold currents reduce precipitation and temperature during warm periods, and warm moving masses of water bring heat and precipitation during cold periods. Warm currents form form formidable hurricanes.


The influence of living organisms

The warmest of the oceans is home to 100,000 species of marine life, more than 50% of the biomass of all marine life.

A sufficiently high temperature has a direct effect on the life activity of animals.

Many chemical processes occurring in the body of creatures are destroyed at 35-40°C. Warming of the climate can lead to a catastrophe, the extinction of many species of animals and plants.

Cooling also has a negative effect on marine life: their development slows down, which can also lead to death.

Maintaining a harmonious balance of the ecosystem is considered one of the most important tasks of mankind.

Ocean Inhabitants

Anthropogenic factors

Man has extensively explored the oceans today.

The anthropogenic factors that upset the balance of the ecosystem can include:

  • Economic and commercial human activities;
  • development of the oil industry which is inextricably linked with tanker wrecks and oil spills;
  • unauthorized dumping of heavy metals and other pollutants into water
  • Global warming, melting sea ice and glaciers;
  • increase of carbon dioxide in water (acidification), etc.

These factors lead to an increase in Pacific Ocean water temperature, which can lead to irreversible catastrophic changes on the entire planet.

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