Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought

Recent observations show ocean heating in line with climate change models

January 10, 2019 University of California – Berkeley Read full ScienceDaily article here

Lijing Cheng, John Abraham, Zeke Hausfather, Kevin E. Trenberth. How fast are the oceans warming? Science, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7619

Heat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than previously thought, concludes an analysis of four recent ocean heating observations. The results provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or ‘hiatus’ in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded.

Ocean heating is critical marker of climate change because an estimated 93 percent of the excess solar energy trapped by greenhouse gases accumulates in the world’s oceans. And, unlike surface temperatures, ocean temperatures are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.

The new analysis, published Jan. 11 in Science, shows that trends in ocean heat content match those predicted by leading climate change models, and that overall ocean warming is accelerating….. “The fact that these corrected records now do agree with climate models is encouraging in that is removes an area of big uncertainty that we previously had,” he said. …

Trends in ocean heat content match those predicted by leading climate change models. Overall ocean warming is accelerating. Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan

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