World's oceans heating up at a faster pace, says study

13 January, 2019, 04:27 | Author: Darnell Taylor
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According to a report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in the journal "Science".

A USA government report in November delivered a similar dire warning that the country could lose hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives by the end of the century due to climate change. 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.

"Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought", said co-author Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ocean temperatures are less influenced by year-to-year variations in the weather.

A fleet of almost 4,000 floating robots drift throughout the world's oceans, every few days diving to a depth of 2000 meters and measuring the ocean's temperature, pH, salinity and other bits of information as they rise back up. In reality, the oceans' temperature, at waters down to 2,000 meters, reached a 0.1 degrees Celsius increase between 1975 and 2010. 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.

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

World's oceans heating up at a faster pace, says study

About 93 percent of the mainly through the burning of fossil fuels in addition to heat generated will be so far absorbed by the oceans.

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.

"The global warming signal is a lot easier to detect if it is changing in the oceans than on the surface".

During the study, researchers used the data collected by a high-tech ocean observing system named Argo, which comprises an global network of robotic floats that regularly monitor the salinity and temperature of ocean water. The team found that trends in ocean heating match the leading climate change models and that the heating of oceans is accelerating.

The climate models project a continuous rise in the 21st century - how much depends on human actions to address climate change. Ocean temperatures around Florence trended 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) warmer than normal, contributing to about 10% more moisture available in the atmosphere.

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