Seawater temperature is rising faster than predicted, according to new research published in the journal Science on January 10.
According to the study, sea levels will rise by about 30cm by the end of the century, on top of the rise in sea levels from melting ice and glaciers. Warmer oceans are also a major factor in increasing the severity of storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall.
Zeke Hausfather, co-author of the paper and a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, said: “While 2018 will be the fourth warmest year on record on the [earth’s] surface, it will most certainly be the warmest year on record in the oceans, as was 2017 and 2016 before that. The global warming signal is a lot easier to detect if it is changing in the oceans than on the surface.”
As reported by the Guardian, separate recently published research extrapolated temperature estimates for the oceans for the past 150 years, and found substantial warming.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, that research found the total heat taken up by the oceans in the last century and a half was about 1,000 times the annual energy use of the world’s population.
A Guardian analysis of those findings suggested that the amount of energy absorbed by the oceans was equivalent to an atomic bomb per second for the past 150 years. Scientists said this was unsustainable in the long term without seeing further massive effects, including extreme weather, fiercer storms, and sea level rises.