Oceanic waters may be warming up even faster than initially believed. A new study considers found that this increase is happening at a 13 higher speed than estimated.
The Warming Rate Is Almost Double When Compared To 1992
A team of international scientists has been studying Earth’s oceans. The researchers are part of NOAA, the Chinese Academy of Science, and the University of St. Thomas. They published a study paper in the Science Advances journal. This was called: “Improved estimates of ocean heat content from 1960 to 2015”.
For their study, the researchers analyzed around 50 years of data. They also gathered new information on the current heat levels of the oceanic waters. The study was also based on a new technology. Called Argo floats, these are better, more precise sensing devices.
Such floats were spread across oceanic waters. Through them, the team was able to gather specific data. They helped measured current temperature levels. At the same time, Argo also registered salinity rates. Data was gathered from both surface and deeper waters. The robotic floats measured data up to 2,000 meters deep.
From the water surface, the floats transmitted back the data via satellite connections. The information was used, for example, for making climate simulations. These latter were then combined and compared to old data. Which led to the team to the following conclusion.
The ocean is warming at a 13 percent faster rate than initially believed. They are already warmer than they were some 50 years ago. Current simulations and analysis also detected another fact. Not only are the oceanic waters packing more heat, this also goes deeper.
More exactly, this warming effect is now taking place as far as 2,000 meters deep. Previously, it only went about 700 meters deep. This deeper trend may have started sometime in the 1990s. At the time, the warming effect began spreading.
Oceanic Waters Analysis To Help Improve Climatic Predictions and Action?
Both the accelerated warming rate and its farther location can lead to quite serious consequences.
“The oceans are affecting weather and climate through more intense rains.” According to a study co-author “From this [study], we can better understand the effects of natural and manmade variability to the climate system”.
The team considers that their study could be used by “decisionmakers”. These may base their future actions on its analysis and results. As such, they may be able to ameliorate the situation. Or, on the contrary, to plan for the warming’s potential consequences.
As the oceanic waters heat up, this leads to changes in the marine ecosystems. It also causes climatic and atmospheric changes. One of the most visible results of such changes is coral bleaching. 2017 is the second consecutive year to hosts a mass such event. With the waters getting even hotter, marine life may be facing an even higher risk.
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