Earth's oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought

James Marshall
November 4, 2018

World's oceans absorb massive heat than previously considered, findings of the new research say that could have serious effects in the battle against climate change.

The report published by the journal Nature recommends that the world reduce excess carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent more than previously estimated to keep the goal of preventing the global temperature to rise above 2 Celsius.

The study comes out of Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; it was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the Princeton Environmental Institute.

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.

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.

The study found that current means of acquiring data on ocean temperatures, which rely on floating robotic devices that transmit readings to satellites, known as the Argo array, have gaps in coverage as some parts of the ocean have too many floats while some have too few.

The call to "protect the last of the wild" by scientists based in the US, Canada and Australia - follows studies of Earth's dwindling wilderness areas, which are important buffers against the effects of climate change.

Oceans warming faster than we thought, "fish refugees" seeking cooler waters, wilderness areas that may vanish altogether - and even a warning that the traditionally moderate British weather is getting more extreme. Coastal flooding, food shortages, and a mass die-off of coral reefs could be upon us by 2040.

Over the past couple hundred years, as humans have burned coal, cleared forests, put gas-powered cars and trucks on the road, and run air conditioners and refrigerators, the oceans have been quietly gathering up most of the carbon emissions those activities spew into the air.

But prior to this, the methods used to measure the heat in the ocean had many flaws and uncertainties.

A new report suggests that this has made seawater even warmer than we thought.

As the ocean heat, these gases have a tendency to be discharged into the air, which builds APO levels. "When you average over things, you beat down the error".

This higher-than-anticipated amount of heat energy in the oceans suggests that the issue of global warming is at a more advanced stage than believed, and that the Earth is warming at a faster rate than predicted.

If it wasn't for our oceans, we would be well and truly screwed. Warm water will also lead to thermal expansion and, therefore, sea level rising. It helps them know how much excess energy is being produced, and it helps them predict how much heat the ocean is capable of absorbing and how much warming will be felt on the Earth's surface.

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