Scientists said that the world’s oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than formerly thought over the last quarter of a century, leaving Earth more receptive still to the effects of climate change.
Oceans play a fundamental part in nourishing life on Earth and they cover up more than two thirds of the planet’s surface. But they’re in danger! According to their most recent assessment this month, scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say the world’s oceans have absorbed 90 percent of the temperature rise caused by man-made carbon secretions.
But new research published in the journal Nature found that for each of the last 25 years, oceans had absorbed heat energy corresponding to 150 times the amount of electricity mankind produces yearly.That is 60 percent higher than previous studies showed.
While those studies relied on adding up the surplus heat produced by known man-made greenhouse gas secretions, a team of US-based scientists focused on two gases found naturally in the atmosphere: oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Both gases are soluble in water, but the rate at which water absorbs those decreases as it warms.
By measuring atmospheric oxygen and CO2 for each year, scientists were able to more correctly assess how much heat oceans had absorbed on a global scale.
An assistant professor of geosciences at Princeton said that imagine if the ocean was only 30 feet (10 metres) deep. Our data show that it would have warmed by 6.5 degrees Celsius (11.7 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade since 1991. That compares with a IPCC estimate of a 4.0 C rise each decade.
He said the data showed mankind should once again modify down its carbon footprint, with secretions needing to fall 25 percent compared to previous estimates.
The IPCC warns that extreme measures are needed in order to limit the global warming to 1.5 Celsius by the end of the century but the world produced a record amount of carbon secretions in 2017.