Scientists at the Ocean Frontier Institute say the number of days with above average marine temperatures has increased by 54 per cent between 1925 and 2016. (iStock)

Free website tracks ocean heatwaves


A new website has been created that offers to track above-average temperatures in the world’s oceans. Its creators say these marine heatwaves are having several effects including species migrations and invasions, disruptions or closures of fisheries and stress and death in aquaculture stocks.

There have previously been heatwaves in the oceans but scientists are concerned changes in their frequency and duration are affecting ocean species. (iStock)

International group collaborating on ocean study

Prof. Eric Oliver of Dalhousie University’s Department of Oceanography says marine heatwaves have become longer and more frequent over the last century.

“Marine ecosystems that once experienced 30 days of extreme heat per year in the early 20th century now experience 45 marine heatwave days per year,” said Oliver in a statement.

He is part of an international working group called the Ocean Frontier Institute which observes the heatwaves through the interactive website. Users can click on any location in the world’s oceans and be provided a history of heatwaves from the present back to 1982.

The site is free for the use of climate researchers, communities and anyone whose livelihood is affected by the sea.

Three Canadians universities involved

The website is said to show a severe marine heatwave occurred in the Mediterranean Ocean off the coast of Spain from January to March 2019. Another that is said to have occurred along Canada’s Pacific coast from 2014 to 2016 is shown to be making a comeback.

The Ocean Frontier Institute brings together scientists and institutes from the North Atlantic and seeks “ to understand our changing ocean and create safe, sustainable solutions for development.” It represents a partnership between Memorial, Dalhousie University and the University of Prince Edward Island, three universities in eastern Canada.

It is funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and various private and public-sector organizations.

Other scientists signal warming oceans

The Union of Concerned Scientists also states “the top half-mile of most major ocean waters is getting warmer. The amount of heat absorbed by the oceans has increased significantly over the past two decades. Warmer ocean water damages coral reefs, threatens marine ecosystems, and disrupts global fisheries.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit organization founded 50 years ago by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its stated mission is to “put rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.” It now involves nearly 250 scientists, analysts, policy and communication experts and is funded by foundations and individuals.

Categories: Environment, International
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.