Oceans warming faster than expected, set heat record in 2018: scientists | Reuters
Past and future ocean heat content changes
Annual observational OHC changes are consistent with each other and consistent with the ensemble means of the CMIP5 models for historical simulations pre-2005 and projections from 2005–2017, giving confidence in future projections to 2100 (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5) (see the supplementary materials). The mean projected OHC changes and their 90% confidence intervals between 2081 and 2100 are shown in bars at the right. The inset depicts the detailed OHC changes after January 1990, using the monthly OHC changes updated to September 2018 [Cheng et al. (2)], along with the other annual observed values superposed.
GRAPHIC: N. CARY/SCIENCE
The oceans are warming faster than previously estimated, setting a new temperature record in 2018 in a trend that is damaging marine life, scientists said on Thursday.
New measurements, aided by an international network of 3,900 floats deployed in the oceans since 2000, showed more warming since 1971 than calculated by the latest U.N. assessment of climate change in 2013, they said.
And “observational records of ocean heat content show that ocean warming is accelerating,” the authors in China and the United States wrote in the journal Science of ocean waters down to 2,000 meters (6,600 ft).
Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are warming the atmosphere, according to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, and a large part of the heat gets absorbed by the oceans. That in turn is forcing fish to flee to cooler waters.
“_Global warming is here, and has major consequences already. There is no doubt, none!” the authors wrote in a statement.