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Oceans Record Highest Ever Temperature In Human History in 2019

Oceans Record Highest Ever Temperature In Human History in 2019
2019 was the warmest year for oceans and second warmest year overall, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Did you know in the past 25 years, we have pumped into the oceans heat energy equivalent to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions?

OT Staff
January 27 , 2020
01 Min Read

According to recent studies, ocean temperatures have been consistently rising for the past few years. According to a study published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, ‘the world’s oceans (especially at upper 2000 m) in 2019 were the warmest in recorded human history’. The 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average, it said.

Readers may recall that the past year was the second warmest year on record, a touch behind the hottest year, 2016. It is the oceans that absorb over 90 per cent of the heat trapping gases. Therefore scientists regularly measure the ocean heat content (OHC), which they believe is one of the accurate ways to quantify the rate of global warming. According to the study, the heating was distributed throughout the world’s oceans, with the vast majority of regions showing an increase in thermal energy. Media reports cited Zeke Hausfather, Director of Climate and Energy at the Breakthrough Institute in California, as saying that the past 10 years have been the warmest 10 on record for global ocean temperatures. The increase between 2018 and 2019 was the largest single-year increase since the early 2000s.

Some of the negative effects of the rising ocean temperatures are already evident – loss of marine life, mass bleaching of coral reefs, loss of critical ecosystems and loss of livelihood for people who live off the ocean’s bounty, especially the fishing folk. The ill-effects of rising ocean temperatures are also being felt on land. While Jakarta experienced excessive rainfall owing to the rising temperature of the sea in that region, scientists have also attributed the devastating wildfire in Australia to the warming of oceans.

To explain to lay people why there is an urgency to implement ways to curb emission of greenhouse gases, Lijing Cheng, associate professor with the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), did a calculations which shows that in the past 25 years, human beings have pumped into the oceans heat energy equivalent to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions.


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