The world's oceans were hottest on record in 2019

Pablo Tucker
January 15, 2020

"That's a lot of zeros", said Cheng Lijing, lead paper author and associate professor at the International Centre for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the IAP.

Ocean warming threatens food security and people's livelihoods.

A study conducted by an global team of 14 scientists from 11 institutes across the world suggests that the world's oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history.

Out of this analysis, they found that over the past 60 years, the more recent warming was about 450 per cent that of the earlier warming, which reflected a huge increase in the rate of climate change globally.

We have the power to reduce this problem. The ocean has been the warmest in the past 10 years than it's been since measurements were first taken in the 1950s.

"There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat trapping gases to explain this heating", Cheng said.


"We are now at five to six Hiroshima bombs of heat each second", John Abraham, another author of the study, and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, said in the CNN report.

However, the oceans will take more time to respond to atmospheric and land environments.

And given that the ocean has a far higher heat absorption capacity than the atmosphere, scientists believe they will continue to warm even if humanity manages to drag down its emissions in line with the Paris goals.

It's been also revealed that the study said that the average ocean temperatures in 2019 were 0.075 degrees Celsius above the average that has been recorded in 1981-2019.

The authors published their results on January 13 in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, with a call to action for humans to reverse climate change.

The experts found that the rate of ocean warming accelerated from 1987 to 2019 to nearly 4½ times the rate of warming from 1955 to 1986.


The North Pacific marine heat wave, "the blob", was first detected in 2013 and wreaked havoc until 2015.

These marine heat waves typically occur when weather causes the ocean to absorb more heat than usual, or if certain conditions prevent the ocean from releasing heat. "This manifestation of global warming has major consequences".

The climate analyst also found that a hot spot in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017 caused Hurricane Harvey, which, according to the Rice Children's Institute, resulted in 82 deaths and damage of approximately £ 83 billion ($ 108 billion).

"The price we pay is the reduction of ocean-dissolved oxygen, the harmed marine lives, strengthening storms and reduced fisheries and ocean-related economies", Cheng said.

"The more we reduce greenhouse gasses, the less the oceans will warm", said Cheng, suggesting that reduce, reuse and recycle are the major ways forward to clean-energy development. This amount of heat is spreading across the oceans of our planet.


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