Ocean temperatures rising faster than initially thought, new research shows

Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia 2018

The results also provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or "hiatus" in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded. That in turn is forcing fish to flee to cooler waters.

We could see many more weather-related problems if the ocean continues to warm at this accelerated pace, especially if there is no human intervention to manage climate change, experts say.

The new study analyzed earlier published information and data compiled by Argo, an global system of almost 4,000 floats that measures temperature and saline levels in the upper parts of the world's oceans.

About 93% of excess heat accumulates in the world's oceans, threatening marine life and a major food supply for the planet. The emissions should not be reduced to greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures could increase up to a sea depth of 2000 meters by the end of the century, by 0.78 degrees Celsius, said the study.

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The findings in the U.S. journal Science, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, debunk previous reports that suggested a so-called pause in global warming in recent years.

"Observational records of ocean heat content show that ocean warming is accelerating", said the scientists from China and the United States in the journal Science. "As 2017 was the warmest year, and 2016 was the warmest year", Zeke Hausfather, an author of the study and energy systems analyst at the independent climate research group Berkeley Earth, told The New York Times . The fallout could include rising sea levels, destruction of corals, severe weather systems and a decrease in ice sheets and glaciers. This ocean-monitoring battalion, called Argo, has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s.

Nearly 200 nations plan to phase out fossil fuels this century under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit warming. Ocean temperatures around Florence trended 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) warmer than normal, contributing to about 10% more moisture available in the atmosphere. Moreover, the revised and updated ocean heat content record is much more in step with the warming predicted by climate models, thereby providing much more confidence in expectations for the future. Researchers also found that ocean temperatures have broken records for several consecutive years.

A separate study on Monday, by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, said 2018 was the fourth warmest year for global surface temperatures in records dating back to the 19th century. If no actions are taken ("business as usual"), the upper ocean above 2000 meters will warm by 2020 ZetaJoules by 2081-2100, which is about 6 times larger than the total ocean warming during the past 60 years.

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