Study Shows Global Ocean Warming has Doubled in Recent Decades
Lawrence Livermore scientists, working with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and university colleagues, have found that half of the global ocean heat content increase since 1865 has occurred over the past two decades.
“In recent decades the ocean has continued to warm substantially, and with time the warming signal is reaching deeper into the ocean,” said LLNL scientist Peter Gleckler, lead author of a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Changes in ocean heat storage are important because the ocean absorbs more than 90 percent of the Earth’s excess heat increase associated with global warming. The observed ocean and atmosphere warming is a result of continuing greenhouse gas emissions. Quantifying how much heat is accumulating in the Earth system is critical to improving the understanding of climate change already under way and to better assess how much more to expect in decades and centuries to come. It is vital to improving projections of how much and how fast the Earth will warm and seas rise in the future.