Ocean Warming Reflects Major Increase in Rate of Climate Change
The increase in the warmth of the world’s oceans reflects a major increase in the global rate of climate change, that’s according to a new study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.
The analysis shows the world’s oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history, and that the heat put into the world’s oceans over the last 25 years is equal to the heat of 3.6 million Hiroshima atom bombs.
The study, carried out by an international team of 14 scientists from 11 institutes across the world, also concludes that the past ten years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record.
The authors are making a call to action for a reverse in climate change. In the face of global events such as the Australian bush fires the study shows that global ocean temperatures are not only increasing but are speeding up.
According to the study, the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 Sextillion) Joules of heat.
CHENG Lijing, lead author of the study and associate professor with the International Centre for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said, ‘This measured ocean warming is irrefutable and is further proof of global warming. There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat trapping gases to explain this heating.’
Prof. Lijing said, ‘The price we pay is the reduction of ocean-dissolved oxygen, the harmed marine lives, strengthening storms and reduced fisheries and ocean-related economies. However, the more we reduce greenhouse gasses, the less the ocean will warm. Reduce, reuse and recycle and transferring to a clean energy society are still the major way forward.’
Co-author of the study and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in the United States, John Abraham said, ‘It is critical to understand how fast things are changing. The key to answering this question is in the oceans — that’s where the vast majority of heat ends up. If you want to understand global warming, you have to measure ocean warming.’
According to the researchers, humans can work to reverse their effect on the climate, but the ocean will take longer to respond than atmospheric and land environments. Since 1970, more than 90% of global warming heat went into the ocean, while less than 4% of the heat warmed the atmosphere and land where humans live.
In November 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate emergency in Europe and globally. In December, the European Green Deal was published which proposes that the EU will be carbon neutral by 2050.
(Image by decuni via creativecommons.org)