A new comprehensive review of global ocean temperature data has allowed researchers to paint a clear picture of ocean warming since the 1950s and predict future warming scenarios, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Researchers found that the rate of warming in the upper 2,000 metres of the ocean in 2010 has more than doubled compared to 1960. Further, they predicted that if actions were not taken, the rate of ocean warming would be four times larger than the current level by 2090, with dire consequences for all life on Earth, Xinhua news agency quoted the study published in Nature Reviews journal as saying.
Authors from the University of Auckland, the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and research institutes from China, France, Australia and the UK said that if the world succeeds in limiting global surface temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as per the Paris Agreement, the acceleration of ocean warming will stop at around 2030.
According to the study, ocean warming connects energy, carbon, and water cycles, as it is a vital component of the Earth’s system. As humans emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it causes the Earth to warm. The vast majority of the heat ends up in the ocean. Therefore, to understand how fast the Earth’s climate is changing, people must look to the ocean and track ocean heat content change.
A warmer ocean brings tremendous consequences to the Earth. Not just to sea life but also to the weather patterns across the planet and the food chain. A warmer ocean leads to more intense storms, more deadly rainfall and flooding, and more powerful typhoons and hurricanes, it further added.
A consequence of warming is that parts of the planet will become drier, with more heat waves and droughts. Other parts will become wetter as rainfalls happen in bigger downbursts. Coastal regions are increasingly vulnerable in association with rising sea levels, storm surges and adverse impacts on ecosystems, the study showed.
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