Wednesday, 21 August, 2019


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

Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia 2018 Imaginechina via APLandscape of the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia 2018
Kristine Garrett | 13 January, 2019, 04:27

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 newly available ocean heat content time series from multiple groups show more consistent but stronger ocean warming since 1960 than previously reported (by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report published in 2013). In the past 150 years, the world's oceans would be the equivalent of about a thousand times the amount of the annual world energy consumption of heat is absorbed, so the result of the beginning of January, in the journal "PNAS" calculation.

The paper says that in a scenario where no effort is made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CIMP5) models predict that the top 2,000 meters of oceans will see a temperature rise of 0.78-degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

The latest analysis published in Science shows trends add to a growing body of evidence that ocean warming is accelerating.

The Science report linked the warming to more rain, increased sea levels, coral reef destruction, declining ocean oxygen levels and declines in ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps in polar environments. 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.

Warmer oceans also contribute to stronger storms, hurricanes and extreme downpours.

"Recent observation-based estimates show rapid warming of Earth's oceans", read the report, which used four independent studies to track ocean heat content from 1971 to 2010.

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".

Ocean heating is critical marker of climate change because an estimated 93 percent of the excess solar energy trapped by greenhouse gases accumulates in the world's oceans.

The world's oceans are warming at an accelerated rate and are much warmer than scientists thought - and things could get a lot worse if nothing is done to stop climate change, according to anew study.

'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.

The system uses nearly 4,000 drifting ocean robots that dive to a depth of 2,000 metres every few days, recording temperature and other indicators as they float back to the surface.

"There is no doubt, none", the scientists said in their new study on ocean warming.

Prior to Argo, ocean temperature data was sparse at best, relying on devices called expendable bathythermographs that sank to the depths only once, transmitting data on ocean temperature until settling into watery graves.

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