Rising sea temperatures
Oceans are highly vulnerable to the impacts of rising temperatures. They absorb much of the additional energy in the earth’s atmosphere trapped by increasing greenhouse gases.
As ocean water warms, its volume expands, resulting in sea level rise. Increased ocean and air temperatures can also melt polar ice that adds to rising sea level.
Projections suggest that sea-surface temperatures in New Zealand will increase 0.8°C-2.5°C by the end of this century.
This increase in temperature means the ocean's crucial role in removing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere is reduced, while the increased absorption of carbon dioxide makes our oceans more acidic.