Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
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World's Oceans Absorb Massive Heat Than Previously Considered

World's Oceans Absorb Massive Heat Than Previously Considered

"It kind of supports the importance of collecting these long-term time series even if it isn't apparent at the start what the outcome will be", he said.Scientists already know that the world's oceans absorb 90 percent of the excess heat trapped on Earth by human greenhouse gas emissions.

As the ocean warms, these gases are released into the air, which increases APO levels.

The warming found in the study is "more than twice the rates of long-term warming estimates from the 1960s and '70s to the present", said research scientist Professor Paul Durack.

Paris - The world's oceans have absorbed 60% more heat than previously thought over the past quarter of a century, scientists said on Thursday, leaving the Earth more sensitive still to the effects of climate change. In any event, the oceans and atmosphere are warming fast and the only solution is to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions. The I.P.C.C. report showed that scientists may have been underestimating the severity of the world's present climate trajectory.The new ocean temperature estimates, if proven accurate, could be another indication that the global warming of the past few decades has exceeded conservative estimates and has been more closely in line with scientists' worst-case scenarios.The researchers used a new approach that derived ocean temperatures by measuring the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere.Those gases dissolve in ocean waters, but the amount the ocean can hold depends on its temperature. This means understanding fluctuations with the ocean temperature allows for estimations to be made about surface warming. The hotter it is, the more oxygen and carbon dioxide the ocean pushes out. They traced 25 years of data, from 2016 back to 1991.

The amount of energy absorbed by the ocean is 60 percent higher than the figure used in the most recent report on climate change from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers said. This level of heat has been consistently absorbed each year.


Problems for sea lifeWarmer oceans pose an existential threat to most sea life, since lower oxygen levels makes it harder for animals to see and drives fish and other creatures away. "In comparison, the estimate of the last IPCC assessment report would correspond to a warming of only 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade".

Resplandy said her discovery is not meant to replace the Argo system but rather to complement it.

But she said it's not a reason to lose hope - instead, the findings should serve as a reason to double-down on efforts to save the planet.

Resplandy said the data shows mankind must, once again, revise down its carbon footprint, with emissions needing to fall 25% compared to previous estimates. The researchers on the project warn that this suggests Earth is actually more sensitive to fossil-fuel emissions than we previously thought. Until then, we have to make sure that waters are kept as clean as possible.

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