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Home / Science / Sensational new research has shown that the oceans generate a large amount of heat, suggesting faster global warming

Sensational new research has shown that the oceans generate a large amount of heat, suggesting faster global warming

A swimmer after sunset at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California, this month. (Mike Blake / Reuters) (MIKE BLAKE / Reuters)

The oceans of the world have absorbed far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists have suggested, suggesting that the earth could warm up even faster than predicted in the coming years.

Over the past quarter of a century, the oceans of Earth have held 60 percent more heat each year than previously accepted by scientists, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University, who led the sensational study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature was published. The difference is an enormous amount of additional energy emanating from the sun and trapped by the Earth's atmosphere – the annual amount more than eight times the annual energy consumption of the world.

In the scientific field, the new findings help resolve long-term doubts about the rate of ocean warming ahead of 2007, when reliable measurements of devices called "Argo-Floats" were used worldwide. Previously, different types of temperature recordings – and a general lack of them – contributed to the oceans heating up quickly.

Exceeding the expected amount of heat in the oceans results in more heat being retained inside the Earth's climate system every year, rather than fleeing into space. In essence, more ocean heat indicates that global warming has progressed further than scientists thought.

"We thought we did not heat up much due to the amount of CO2 we emit, both in the ocean and in the atmosphere," said Resplandy, who works with experts at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and various others Institutions in the United States, China, France and Germany published. "But we were wrong. The planet has warmed up more than we thought. It was only hidden because we did not test it properly. But it was there. It was already in the sea.

The study from Wednesday could also have important political implications. If sea temperatures rise faster than previously calculated, this could give nations even less time to drastically reduce global carbon emissions, in the hope that global warming will reach the ambitious target of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). limit the pre-industrial level The world has been warmed by one degree Celsius since the late 19th century. Scientists supported by the United Nations this month reported that the world, with steadily increasing warming, faces the challenge of limiting this warming to just half a degree Celsius. The group said it would require "unprecedented" action by leaders around the world over the next decade to even achieve this goal.

Meanwhile, the Trump government has withdrawn the regulations on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, coal-fired power plants and other sources, and has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. In one case, the government predicted that by the end of the century, the planet would warm catastrophic seven degrees Celsius, or about four degrees Celsius, because it argued that a proposal to reduce fuel efficiency standards for vehicles would only have a low climate impact.

The new research highlights the possible consequences of global inactivity. Rapidly-warming oceans mean that the oceans will rise faster and more heat will be released to critical climates, such as coral reefs in the tropics and the ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic.

Should the ocean's heat uptake prove greater, adaptation to climate change and mitigation of our climate change will be more urgent, "said Pieter Tans, head of the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration involved in the study.

The oceans absorb more than 90 percent of the excess energy trapped in the Earth's atmosphere.

The new research does not measure the temperature of the ocean directly. Rather, it measures the volume of gases, especially oxygen and carbon dioxide, that have escaped from the ocean in recent decades and entered the atmosphere during heating. The method provided scientists with a reliable indicator of the change in the temperature of the ocean, reflecting a basic behavior of a liquid when heated.

"When the sea warms up, it loses some gas into the atmosphere," said Resplandy. "This is an analogy that I keep making: if you leave your coke in the sun, the gas will be lost."

This approach allowed researchers to review the controversial history of ocean temperature in a different and novel way. They experienced a higher number of ocean warming over time.

"I think that is a triumph of the science of the Earth system. It's extraordinary that we've been able to confirm atmospheric ocean content of atmospheric gases, "said Joellen Russell, professor and oceanographer at the University of Arizona. "You have the A team here on this paper."

But Russell said the results are hardly so uplifting.

The report "has an impact on climate sensitivity, which means how warm a certain amount of CO2 is. Make us?" Russell said, adding that the world could have a lower "carbon budget" than imagined Budget refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that humans can emit, while still being able to warm to dangerous levels.

The scientists calculated that due to the increased heat already stored in the sea, the maximum emissions, would have to produce a warming of two degrees Celsius, would have to be reduced by 25 percent, which means a significant decrease in the already very tight carbon budget.

The UN Climate Change Research Panel recently said that the global climate change Carbon emissions will have to be cut in half by 2030 if the world wants to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius, but Resplandy said that the Be For example, for faster-warming oceans, "shifting the likelihood that it will be more difficult to stay below the 1.5-degree temperature target."

Understanding what happens to the Earth's oceans is critical because they are far more than The atmosphere is the mirror of progressive climate change.

According to an important climate report released by the US government last year, since the mid-20th century, the world's oceans have absorbed about 93 percent of the surplus heat caused by greenhouse gases, determining that marine heat has been inactive since the 1960s all depths has increased while the surface waters have also warmed up. The Federal Climate Report predicts a global increase in the average surface temperature of the sea surface by nearly five degrees Fahrenheit to 2100 if emissions continue unabated. In some US coastal regions, warming is even higher.

The oceans also consume more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted each year on human activities – an effect that makes them more acidic and threatens endangered ecosystems, say federal researchers. "The acidification rate has been unique for at least the past 66 million years," said the government's climate report.

Paul Durack, a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, said Wednesday's study offers "a really interesting new offer" at Insight and is "quite alarming. "

The warming found in the study is" more than double the estimates of long-term warming from the 1960s and 70s to today, "said Durack, adding that these rates apply. Further studies prove that" it the rate of warming and the sensitivity of the Earth system to greenhouse gases at the top. " He said that if scientists underestimated the amount of heat taken up by the oceans, "this will be the case." I mean, we need to go back to the drawing board "on the aggressiveness of climate change measures that the world needs to take immediately to limit future warming.

Beyond the long-term effects of warmer oceans, Russell added. In the short term, even small changes in sea temperatures can affect the weather For example, scientists have said that warmer oceans off the New England coast have contributed to more intense winter storms.

"We are just beginning to discover the importance of ocean warming for our daily lives, our daily weather." said

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