Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Oceans heating up at quickening pace, study finds | #AsiaNewsNetwork

Oceans heating up at quickening pace, study finds | #AsiaNewsNetwork

On January 11, 2019, an important article in Science magazine asks the question about "How fast are the oceans warming?"

Three of these studies, which were published in 2014, 2015, and 2017, calculated ocean heat content from the 1970s and decades before with the help of an army of floating robots. And, unlike surface temperatures, ocean temperatures are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.

And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, "models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of the world's oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century", it said.

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

The thermal expansion - water swelling as it warms - would raise sea level 12 inches (30 centimeters), above any sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice sheets.

The authors also note that warmer oceans mean stronger storms, hurricanes, and precipitation. The climate researchers at Zeke's house, father says: "While 2018 will be the fourth-warmest year since measurements on the surface of the earth, it is certainly the warmest in the oceans - as early as 2017 and 2016".

The warming, measured since 1960, is faster than predicted by scientists in a 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that looked at ocean warming, according to the study, published this week in the journal Science.

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The temperature of the oceans acts as a very good marker for climate change as a whole because 93 percent of excess energy from the Sun trapped by greenhouse gases is found in the seas.

The planet's oceans are warming a lot quicker than estimated, highlighting the perils of unchecked climate change, according to a new study. "That was a problem, because of all things, that is one thing we really hope the models will get right".

For the new study, scientists used data collected by a high-tech ocean observing system called Argo, an global network of more than 3,000 robotic floats that continuously measure the temperature and salinityof the water.

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.

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 on ocean temperature until settling into watery graves.

"There is no doubt, none", the scientists said in their new study on ocean warming.

The climate models project continuous ocean warming in the 21th century; how much depends on human actions to address climate change.

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