Ocean temperatures rising faster than previously thought

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 11, 2019

That in turn is forcing fish to flee to cooler waters. "There is no doubt, none!" the authors wrote in a statement.

Oceans are warming primarily because of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human activity.

About 93 percent of excess heat - trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels - accumulates in the world's oceans.

The latest report relied on four studies, published between 2014 and 2017, that gave more precise estimates of past trends in ocean heat, allowing scientists to update past research and hone predictions for the future. The new study analyzed earlier published information and data compiled by Argo, an worldwide system of almost 4,000 floats that measures temperature and saline levels in the upper parts of the world's oceans.

Three of the new studies included in the Science analysis calculated ocean heat content back to 1970 and before using new methods to correct for calibration errors and biases in the both the Argo and bathythermograph data.

"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", Hausfather said.

The world's oceans are rising in temperature faster than previously believed as they absorb most of the world's growing climate-changing emissions, scientists said Thursday. The thermal expansion caused by this bump in temperature would raise sea levels 30 centimeters, or around 12 inches, on top of the already significant sea level rise caused by melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Lead author Lijing Cheng, of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said records for ocean warming had been broken nearly yearly since 2000. US President Donald Trump, who wants to promote US fossil fuels, plans to pull out of the pact in 2020. According to Lijing Cheng, one of the study's authors, temperatures down to 2,000 meters rose about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18F) between 1971-2010, according to Reuters. The 2013 United Nations. assessment estimated slower rates of heat uptake but did not give a single comparable number.

A separate study on Monday, by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, said 2018 was the fourth warmest year for global surface temperatures in records dating back to the 19th century.

"The fairly steady rise in OHC [ocean heat content] shows that the planet is clearly warming", the report stated, adding that rising sea levels and temperatures should be concerning, "given the abundant evidence of effects on storms, hurricanes and the hydrological cycle, including extreme precipitation events". It can take more than 1,000 years for deep ocean temperatures to adjust to changes at the surface.

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