Last Year Recorded Hottest Ocean Temperatures in History
Human-induced climate crisis is exacerbating oceanic warming, which scientists say has broken records for the sixth consecutive year
Global warming has given unabated rise to extreme weather rife and greenhouse gases hitting new levels. The ocean temperatures hit a new peak, with last year being the hottest in the recorded history. A new research indicated that last year’s temperatures broke records, which marks the sixth consecutive year where the same record has been broken.
2021 saw a heat record for the top 2,000 meters of all oceans across the globe, regardless of a periodic ongoing climate event that cools waters in the Pacific, called La Niña event. Last year’s record tops a stretch of modern documentation that goes back to 1955. 2020 was the second hottest year for oceans, while 2019 was the third hottest.
As the oceans warm up, they are helping supercharge storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall, consequently, exacerbating the flooding situations across the world. Moreover, the heated water expands and melts the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets that are collectively thawing about 1 trillion tons of ice per year, fueling the sea level rise and threatening the coastal settlements.
Not only that, oceans soak up about a third of carbon emissions, which causes them to acidify and degrade marine habitats. Coral reefs, that are home to a quarter of the world’s marine life and offer food to over 500 million people, are getting bleached and dying amid warming oceans. Look at the Great Barrier Reef – once a wonder of nature and now it is barely alive.
Over 90 percent of heat generated over the past 50 years has been soaked up by the oceans to spare terrestrial species form the temperatures temporarily that would have been cataclysmic for them. But humans are still continuing on the path of doom through burning fossil fuels, deforestation and other anthropogenic activities, all of which generate climate change-inducing emissions.
🚨 2021 was the hottest year on record for our oceans. Unfortunately, I am not surprised at all…
— Zack Labe (@ZLabe) January 11, 2022
Published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, the study said that long-term ocean warming is most intense in the Atlantic and Southern oceans, although the north Pacific has experienced a dramatic increase in heat since 1990 and the Mediterranean Sea documented a high temperature record in 2021.
Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University and another of the 23 researchers who worked on the paper, said;
Until we reach net zero emissions, that heating will continue, and we’ll continue to break ocean heat content records, as we did this year. Better awareness and understanding of the oceans are a basis for the actions to combat climate change.
If we continue down this path, it won’t be long before half of the world is under water and the other is clamoring for drops of water. Something to think about and act upon NOW!