The world’s oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in the recorded human history – especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 metre, an international team of 14 scientists from a 11 institutes revealed.
The revelation also came with a warning that global ocean temperature is not only increasing but speeding up.
The past 10 years were the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record, said the authors in the study published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences – with a call to action for humans to reverse climate change.
The year 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.
According to the study, the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of heat.
“That’s a lot of zeros indeed. To make it easier to understand, I did a calculation. The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules. The amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions,” Lijing Cheng an author at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The researchers used a relatively new method of analysis to account for potentially sparse data and time discrepancies in instruments that were previously used to measure ocean warmth, especially from the ocean surface to 2,000 metre deep.
Humans can work to reverse their effect on the climate, but the ocean will take longer to respond than atmospheric and land environments.
Since 1970, more than 90 per cent of global warming heat went into the ocean, while less than 4 per cent of the heat warmed the atmosphere and land where humans live.