Earth's Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Anticipated
Earth's Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Anticipated
Climate scientists alarmed at speed of ocean warming
13 January, 2019, 13:14
"If you want to see where global warming is happening, look in our oceans", Zeke Hausfather, a UC Berkeley graduate student and co-author of the research paper, said in the blog post.
The fairly steady rise in ocean heat content clearly shows that the planet is warming.
The latest study combined previous estimates to show that ocean warming is accelerating at a rate 40 per cent higher than was thought.
Ocean heat - recorded by thousands of floating robots - has been setting records repeatedly over the last decade, with 2018 expected to be the hottest year yet, displacing the 2017 record, according to an analysis by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought". This change would cause sea levels to raise 30 centimeters, ice glaciers to melt, and stronger storms to hit continents.
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. 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.
Mr Hausfather said: "While 2018 will be the fourth warmest year on record on the surface, it will most certainly be the warmest year on record in the oceans, as was 2017 and 2016 before that". The first scenario falls in line with the Paris Climate Agreement's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep the average global temperature from rising no more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. These results demonstrate that earlier claims of a global warming slowdown since 2004 weren't necessarily accurate, since heat trapped from greenhouse gases has increased ocean temperatures.
In fact, these scientists say records for ocean warming have been broken nearly yearly since the year 2000.
This drive, according to the study of the oceans and diving every couple of days to a depth of 2000 meters, to measure data such as temperature and pH-value.
"If the ocean wasn't absorbing as much heat, the surface of the land would heat up much faster than it is right now", Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the department of ecology, evolution and natural resources at Rutgers University, told The New York Times.
Among effects, extra warmth can reduce oxygen in the oceans and damages coral reefs that are nurseries for fish, the scientists said.
A warmer ocean also contributes to increases in rainfall and leads to stronger and longer-lasting storms like Hurricanes Florence and Harvey.
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