A recent study has pointed out that the world’s oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history, especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 metres. Published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, the study found that the past decade has decidedly been the warmest on record for the world’s ocean temperatures and the last five years held the highest record.
As a worrying trend, researchers said that the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, they said, the ocean would have taken in 228 Sextillion Joules of heat.
The research study team comprising of 14 scientists from 11 institutes around the world called for affirmative action to reverse climate change. As part of the study, the scientists used a new analysis method to take into account potentially sparse data and time discrepancies in instruments that were previously used to measure ocean warmth, especially from the ocean surface to 2,000 metres deep.
This relatively new method gave researchers the data required to examine warming trends dating back to the 1950s. As an additional data set, the research also incorporates ocean temperature changes recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US. These two data sets suggested that the past five years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures.
Additionally, the scientists also compared the 1987-2019 data recording period to the 1955 to 1986 period. Out of this analysis, they found that over the past 60 years, the more recent warming was about 450 per cent that of the earlier warming, which reflected a huge increase in the rate of climate change globally.
Interestingly, as per the data, 2019 broke the previous records set in prior years for global warming, and the effects are already appearing in the form of more extreme weather, rising sea levels and harm to ocean animals.
Researches opine that while humans can attempt to reverse their effect on the climate, our oceans will take longer to respond than atmospheric and land environments.
(With inputs from PTI)