Monday, 10 December, 2018

Oceans Have Soaked Up 60 Percent More Heat Than We Thought

Earth's oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought
Cary Marshall | 04 November, 2018, 14:46

According to scientists, we underestimated the quantity of heat absorbed by the world's oceans.

If it wasn't for our oceans, we would be well and truly screwed.

Resplandy said, "Imagine if the ocean was only 30 feet deep". "Our data shows that it would have warmed by 6.5℃ (11.7℉) every decade since 1991. 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".

Laurent Bopp, a co-author of the study from the Ecole Normale Suprieure in Paris, told CNN the findings were "bad news for the ocean itself, bad news for the ecosystem". "It will affect the earth for centuries and millennia after that", he said.

Earlier this month, the United Nations issued a landmark report that said a rise in global temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius-which could come as early as 2030-could cause catastrophic damage unless "rapid and unprecedented" changes in energy use is made before then.

A host of countries, including the US and China, signed the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, which aims to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Atmosphere researchers say rising sea temperatures have filled all the more ground-breaking storms and are slaughtering off underwater wildlife like Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

More news: Why You Shouldn't Worry About the New Study Linking Cellphones to Cancer

Accurately assessing the rate at which the oceans are warming is critical if we're to predict the effects on marine life and the climate.

Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Oceanography geophysicist and Resplandy's former postdoctoral adviser said, "The result significantly increases the confidence we can place in estimates of ocean warming and therefore helps reduce uncertainty in the climate sensitivity, particularly closing off the possibility of very low climate sensitivity". Specifically, that means it will be more challenging to avoid flooding from sea level rise in coastal cities, violent hurricanes, and the death of almost all of Earth's coral reefs. If oceans rise faster than forecast, that represents more of an immediate threat to low-lying communities. That amount coincides the heat-energy content of the ocean. If further research corroborates the findings of the latest study, those calculations would need to be redone and the forecast would be more dire.

Princeton and Scripps researchers report that the world's oceans absorbed more than 13 zettajoules - which is a joule, the standard unit of energy, followed by 21 zeroes - of.

Scientists base their predictions about how much the Earth is warming by adding up all the excess heat that is produced by the known amount of greenhouse gases that have been emitted by human activities.

Research shows that scientists have been measuring the amount of heat in the oceans incorrectly, so the waters have absorbed much more heat than previously thought.

They found evidence of warmer, less oxygenated ocean water than what was previously reported - 60% higher than the estimates used in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

The study was funded by NOAA's Climate Program Office and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

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