Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful forces. Depending of their strength they can be very dangerous and severely damage coastal communities and disturb human life in different ways. However, as scary and damaging as they are, they are extremely necessary to the preservation of our ocean’s diversity and human life.
Here we’re going to explain how hurricanes form and how it affects the oceans.
- Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over warm ocean waters in areas of high humidity and light winds near the equator. An area of the ocean called Hurricane Alley in the Atlantic Ocean is where most of the hurricanes form, and over the past decades, the sea surface temperatures have been rising, leading to an increase in hurricane activity.
- Most of the hurricanes occur offshore, however, if the conditions allow it to progress, it will hit coastal waters, but whenever it hits land, hurricanes lose intensity and eventually die off.
- Warm summer waters are usually nutrient-depleted, and the hurricane’s high winds mix the ocean water and bring nutrients and cooler deeper water to the surface to the surface at a time in which it was much needed. This cooler water is rich in nutrients and at the surface it generates a plankton bloom.
- The increase in nutrients over the surface of water creates an ideal environment for algae to grow. Marine algae is considered one of the most important organisms in the planet. It is estimated that algae and other type of marine plants produce near to 80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, in that sense, we need marine algae more than they need us, yes, “they” marine algae are individuals, most of marine plants are single celled, that means that instead of being one huge plant, they are a bunch of single celled organisms trying to look like a huge plant.
- Algae forests are considered one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, they provide a unique habitat for marine organisms, providing food and shelter to a wide number of species.
- Hurricanes come with a lot of rain, and although sometimes it seems excessive, they help by bringing rain to areas of drought, benefiting species and all life on land.
- They also balance the global temperatures. Because of the position and rotation of the planet in respect to the Sun, all the regions around the equator normally receive more sunlight, creating warmer temperatures, and the normal cycle of the earth is to help preserve life by balancing temperatures and spreading out the warm waters of the tropics to the poles and cooling down temperatures around the equator. Without hurricanes, the warmer areas of the planet would be warmer and the cooler areas would be cooler, the places of drought would be dryer and with it, there would be scarcity of food and water, including fish! There would be less fish to eat, something that people such as ourselves, who love sport fishing would be very sad about.
We hope you found this information helpful. At Fantastic II Charters, we’re working hard on repairing our boat after the effects that hurricane Irma had on the Fantastic II, but we’re happy that soon we will have her out again in the water, where she and we love to be at. In the meantime, we didn’t stop operations, Our Captain Dallas has just added a new boat to the company, it’s called the “HopAlong” a 27′ Rambo and it’s ready for you to take you on a sport fishing trip in the Key Largo. Check it out!