Oceans reach record high temperatures

oceans heat

LONDON: The oceans have reached their highest-ever recorded temperature due to climate change, with significant implications for the planet.

According to the European Union’s Copernicus climate change service, the global sea surface temperature averaged 20.96°C, surpassing the previous record set in 2016.

Oceans play a crucial role in regulating the climate, absorbing heat, producing oxygen, and influencing weather patterns. Warmer waters have a reduced capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. This leads to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributing melting glaciers, resulting in rising sea levels.

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The increasing ocean temperatures also disrupt marine species, with fish and whales seeking cooler waters and altering the food chain. The rise in predatory animal aggression, such as sharks, is attributed to their confusion in hotter temperatures.

Scientists are concerned about the timing of this temperature record, as March should be the warmest month for oceans globally. Climate change is the primary driver of the rising ocean temperatures. This is because absorb most of the heat from greenhouse gas emissions.

Reports say marine heatwaves have been occurring in unexpected locations. Notably in the UK, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

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These heatwaves have doubled in frequency between 1982 and 2016. They are becoming more intense and prolonged since the 1980s, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

While air temperatures have shown dramatic increases in recent years, the oceans take longer to warm up due to their absorption of 90% of Earth’s warming from greenhouse gas emissions.

Signs indicate that ocean temperatures may be catching up, potentially due to stored heat from ocean depths rising to the surface, possibly linked to El Niño.

Scientists are actively investigating the reasons behind the surge in ocean temperatures above previous years, although the overall trend is linked to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

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