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Oceans warming much faster than previously thought Study

13 January 2019

The oceans are warming at a faster rate than was thought, according to the biggest analysis of sea temperatures so far.

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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 until settling into watery graves. The team found that trends in ocean heating match the leading climate change models and that the heating of oceans is accelerating. Researchers said this showed that, contrary to the claims of some sceptics, the world was warming at a...

'Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought'.

Moreover, the revised and updated ocean heat content record is much more in step with the warming predicted by climate models, thereby providing much more confidence in expectations for the future.

Ocean temperatures cited in the paper are recorded using the Argo network comprised of nearly 4,000 robot floats that stay on the surface most of the time but dive to 2,000 meters every few days to measure ocean temperature, pH, salinity, and other details.

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And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, "models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 metres of the world's oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century", it said. 2018 is likely to be the hottest year for the oceans on record, beating out 2017 which held the record.

"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.

According to the investigation, the temperature of the oceans have increased in a depth of up to 2000 meters between 1971-2010 by 0.1 degrees Celsius.

The U.S. joined the deal last month despite President Donald Trump's 2017 pledge to withdraw the country from the Paris accord. 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. Ocean temperatures are reportedly not affected by functions that occur annually like El Nino. If no actions are taken ("business as usual"), the upper ocean above 2000 meters will warm by 2020 ZetaJoules by 2081-2100, which is about 6 times larger than the total ocean warming during the past 60 years. Warm oceans will also increase the moisture in the atmosphere which will induce powerful storms like Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Harvey.

Warmer ocean water also raises sea levels by melting ice, including around the edges of Antarctica and Greenland.

Oceans warming much faster than previously thought Study