Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Expected, Research Says

Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia 2018

Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia 2018

"Global warming is rearing its head", said Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.

"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.

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

The ocean's heat is recorded by thousands of floating robots.

Overall, temperatures in the ocean down to 2,000 metres rose about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18F) from 1971-2010, he said.

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. And, unlike surface temperatures, ocean temperatures are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.

The authors also note that warmer oceans mean stronger storms, hurricanes, and precipitation.

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

Another study report from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service had revealed that 2018 was the fourth warmest year, in terms of global surface temperatures, in records dating back to the 19th century.

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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.

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.

In October a United Nations report warned that the world is running out of time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before seeing potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.

The latest findings disprove, therefore, previous reports that the warming in the past few years, have exposed.

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.

Argo "has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s", it said. Researchers used this data in combination with other historic temperature information and studies.

The projected warming for the 21st century - in two different scenarios - "would have major impacts on ocean ecosystems", and sea levels would continue to rise, according to the article.

The fairly steady rise in ocean heat content clearly shows that the planet is warming.

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