Ocean Temperatures Have Reached a Record-Breaking High
Our planet's oceans are warmer than they've ever been in recorded human history. And ocean temperatures are not only increasing, they are heating up at an accelerating rate, according to a new analysis.
In 2019, the ocean temperature was about 0.135 degrees Fahrenheit (0.075 degrees Celsius) higher than the average between 1981 and 2010, an international group of researchers reported.
To analyze temperature changes in the oceans, Cheng and the team used all of the available data — measured from a number of different devices, including 3,800 drifting so-called Argo floats scattered across the oceans — published by the World Ocean Database and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All of the measurements were taken between the surface of the water and a depth of 6,562 feet (2,000 meters).
They compared data taken between 1987 and 2019 with that taken from 1955 to 1986 and found that the oceans warmed 450% more in the more recent time stint than in the earlier bracket, according to the statement. The ocean has been the warmest in the past 10 years than it's been since measurements were first taken in the 1950s.
The oceans can be a good measure of the effect of climate change since they absorb the majority of excess heat from the atmosphere, the researchers wrote. The effects of the warming are already appearing as more extreme weather, rising sea levels and harm to ocean animals, according to the statement.