Oceans warming faster than expected, set heat record in 2018 - scientists

Pariahan village pumps drinking water from a well on Nov. 28 2018 in Bulacan north of Manila in the Philippines

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Ocean heat content is not bothered much by weather fluctuations that do, however, affect the surface temperatures, and it is somewhat affected by El Niño events.

The new analysis shows warming in the oceans is on pace with measurements of rising air temperature.

"It's mainly driven by the accumulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to human activities", Lijing said.

And "observational records of ocean heat content show that ocean warming is accelerating", the authors in China and the United States wrote in the journal Science of ocean waters down to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft).

The thermal expansion - water swelling as it warms - would raise sea level 30 centimeters, above any sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Ocean temperatures are rising faster than scientists previously concluded, according to an alarming report released Thursday.

For the new study, scientists used data collected by a high-tech ocean observing system called Argo, an worldwide network of more than 3,000 robotic floats that continuously measure the temperature and salinityof the water.

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About 93% of excess heat accumulates in the world's oceans, threatening marine life and a major food supply for the planet. Also, the quality of older ocean data has been substantially improved, and there are both better and independent methods that account for the sparseness of ocean data before Argo era.

The oxygen content in the world's oceans has decreased since 1960, an average of more than two percent, found a study at the Geomar Helmholtz centre for ocean research in the year 2017. According to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models, the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of global oceans will increase by 0.78 degrees Celsius by 2099.

Though a warmer ocean might make for a more pleasant swim, it carries deadly consequences.

He told Reuters that records for ocean warming had been broken nearly yearly since 2000.

'If you want to see where global warming is happening, look in our oceans, ' said Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the paper. It has also contributed to increases in rainfall intensity and stronger, longer-lasting storms, such as Harvey in 2017 and Florence in 2018.

'For example, even if we meet the target of Paris Agreement (to limit climate change), ocean will continue warming and sea level will continue rise.

In the same direction, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service estimated that 2018 had been the hottest year regarding global surface temperature. It can take more than 1,000 years for deep ocean temperatures to adjust to changes at the surface.

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