Tunisia: Oceans Warming Faster Than Expected, Set Heat Record in 2018 - Scientists

Tunisia: Oceans Warming Faster Than Expected, Set Heat Record in 2018 - Scientists

Tunisia: Oceans Warming Faster Than Expected, Set Heat Record in 2018 - Scientists

The new analysis, published in Science, shows that trends in ocean heat content match those predicted by leading climate change models, and that overall ocean warming is accelerating. "Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought". In reality, the oceans' temperature, at waters down to 2,000 meters, reached a 0.1 degrees Celsius increase between 1975 and 2010.

Argo "has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s", it said. "2018 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean, surpassing 2017", added the research leading author, Lijing Cheng at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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.

If the targets of the Paris deal to hold warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, or preferably 1.5C can be met, however, expected damage by 2100 could be halved, Cheng said.

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"The fact that these corrected records now do agree with climate models is encouraging in that is removes an area of big uncertainty that we previously had", he said.

The results also provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or "hiatus" in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded. 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. 2015 is next warmest, although 2016 was the hottest for the global mean surface temperature, but that was in part because of the huge El Niño event that took place: the extra heat at the surface was at the expense of the ocean which cooled off slightly. The 2013 United Nations. assessment estimated slower rates of heat uptake but did not give a single comparable number. The second scenario assumes no change in emissions and projects warming that could severely affect ocean ecosystems and sea levels.

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.

"If the ocean wasn't absorbing as much heat, the surface of the land would heat up much faster than it is right now", Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the department of ecology, evolution and natural resources at Rutgers University, told The New York Times. In addition, the warming of sea water leads to a further destruction of the coral reefs and reduces the oxygen content in the oceans. Warmer seas release more moisture that can stoke more powerful storms.

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