Oceans heating faster than previously thought

Oceans heating faster than previously thought

This is 60% higher than indicated in previous studies.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 90 percent of the warming that's happened on Earth over the last 50 years takes place in the ocean. "This is definitely something that should and will be taken into account in the next report".

As there have been patches in time where the ocean's temperature hasn't been recorded, as well as incomplete or differing measurements, scientists have said that the figure has only just been measured accurately.

Last month, the IPCC, the world's top climate change group, released a report that said "unprecedented" changes in society are required in order to avoid the worst impacts from global warming. In its recent report, the I.P.C.C. used one of the lower available estimates of how much the oceans have warmed. Knowing this makes it possible to estimate the surface warming we can expect, said co-author Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Oceanography geophysicist.

As well as potentially making it more hard to keep warming below 1.5 or even 2C this century, all that extra heat going into the oceans will prompt some significant changes in the waters.

The Earth has already warmed by roughly 1 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels and is on track to warm 3 degrees by the end of the century, according to the IPCC. But for climate scientists, the answer has serious consequences. In any event, the oceans and atmosphere are warming fast and the only solution is to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions. Coastal flooding, food shortages, and a mass die-off of coral reefs could be upon us by 2040.

"We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of Carbon dioxide that we emitted", she is quoted as saying.

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Up until the report was issued this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) thought it had a pretty good handle on how much excess energy the oceans were absorbing. "When you average over things, you beat down the error". Filling round glass flasks with air from research stations in the Canadian Arctic, Tasmania and La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego, researchers analyzed the samples to determine the aggregate temperature of the ocean. "But scientists are now going to have to do their due diligence and check the math on this and check the methods and make sure it stands up".

Robbins said the new approach is "bold", but he still believes strongly in the accuracy of the Argo program.

"So what we measured was the amount lost by the oceans, and then we can calculate how much warming we need to explain that change in gases".

Resplandy said that given those kinds of observations, she wasn't surprised by her results.

"There is also sea level, if you warm the ocean more you will have more thermal expansion and therefore more sea level rise".

Between 1991 and 2016, the oceans have been taking in significantly more heat than we had accounted for.

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