Various recent studies indicate that the world’s ocean surface temperatures have hit an all-time high since satellite records began. This April, the ocean surface temperature broke all prior records. As per the NOAA, the average ocean temperature has been 21.1 degrees (69.98 degrees F) since the beginning of April. The previous high temperature was 21 degrees Celsius (69.9 degrees Fahrenheit) in March 2016.
As a consequence of greenhouse gases, the atmosphere, ocean surface, and land surface are all warming. Never before had the top ocean been this warm. This may be because of the EL Nino as the ocean surface heats up during El Nino years. Due to a significant El Nino and the higher amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, 2016 was the warmest year on record. This combination may be the worst for heating the three surfaces.
Why such a dramatic rise in ocean surface temperatures?
Almost 90% of the extra heat added to our planet’s system during the industrial period as a direct result of our greenhouse gas emissions has already been absorbed by the Ocean. According to research, the heat was collecting in the ocean faster and penetrating deeper, fueling severe weather.
The La Nina and El Nino cycles in the Pacific Ocean influence different ocean warming patterns. Since the last El Nio, nearly seven years had passed. Since that time, the ocean’s heat content has risen by.04°C (.07°F). Although the number may seem low, this is still a tremendous quantity of heat present. We may anticipate further records to be broken if El Nio manifests as expected later this year.
Why is it bad?
Ocean surface temperatures hitting an all-time high is a warming signal that makes the impact of our growing interaction with the climate system more obvious. Local meteorological conditions can influence marine heatwaves, but studies have indicated that as the seas have warmed, their frequency and severity have grown. This tendency is expected to intensify as a result of human-caused global warming. In addition to putting ice sheets in danger and raising global sea levels due to salt water expanding as it heats, warmer oceans also give storms greater energy.
Additionally, marine heat waves may trigger coral bleaching on tropical reefs and have a disastrous impact on marine life. According to experiments, warming waters may drastically alter the food chain. That might increase the growth of algae while decreasing the species that humans consume.
Rachna is pursuing Ph.D. in Environmental Science. She is an environmentalist and dedicated researcher who enjoys writing about environmental concerns to raise environmental consciousness. With an academic background in environmental science and a deep understanding of environmental concerns, she is devoted to raising awareness and assisting folks in making educated, environmentally friendly decisions through her writings.