Ocean Temperature Reaches Record High In Feb: EU Scientists

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Ocean Temperature Reaches Record High In Feb: EU Scientists


In a concerning development, Ocean temperature reaches a record high in February, marking yet another alarming milestone in the ongoing climate crisis. According to data from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) released on Thursday, the average global sea surface temperature reached 21.06 degrees Celsius (69.91 degrees Fahrenheit), setting a new record.

This surpasses the previous highest recorded temperature of 20.98 degrees Celsius (69.77 degrees Fahrenheit) set in August 2023 in a dataset that stretches back to 1979. The occurrence of this marine heat record coincided with February also being declared the hottest on record, marking the ninth consecutive month to achieve such a distinction.

ocean temperature reach record high

In the wake of these record-breaking temperatures, marine scientists have issued a stark warning about the likelihood of a fourth global mass coral bleaching event, particularly affecting the Southern Hemisphere. This devastating phenomenon, driven by escalating ocean temperatures, poses a severe threat to coral reefs worldwide and could potentially be the most catastrophic in history.

Coral bleaching occurs when corals are subjected to prolonged heat stress, causing them to expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, resulting in their vibrant colors fading and leaving behind a stark white skeleton. This renders them highly susceptible to starvation, disease, and mortality, ultimately leading to the collapse of fragile reef ecosystems. The consequences extend beyond marine life, leaving coastlines vulnerable to erosion and storm damage and jeopardizing the livelihoods of communities reliant on fisheries.

The exacerbation of this crisis is attributed to the combination of the El Nino climate pattern and human-induced climate change, which have led to anomalously warm surface waters in various regions across the globe. Climate scientist Richard Allan of the University of Reading highlighted the surprising extent of the temperature increases in areas far removed from the epicentre of El Nino activity, such as the tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean, underscoring the pervasive influence of rising greenhouse gas emissions.

While the focus remains on the global average sea surface temperature, the situation in polar regions is equally alarming. Antarctic sea ice reached its annual minimum levels in February, marking the third lowest extent on record, underscoring the far-reaching impacts of climate change. Despite the warning of El Nino in the equatorial Pacific, air temperatures over the oceans continue to hover at unusually elevated levels, signalling the persistence of the climate crisis.

As the world grapples with the escalating consequences of Ocean temperature reaches record high, urgent and concerted efforts are needed to fight climate change and safeguard the future of our oceans and the countless lives they support.

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