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Ocean temperatures on the rise

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Ocean temperatures on the rise

Ocean temperatures are rising

Ocean temperatures are rising

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Ocean temperatures are rising

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Ocean temperatures are rising

Macy Dietrich, News Editor

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Sixty percent more atmospheric heat is being absorbed by the world’s oceans each year, as proven by emerging research on the effects of such warming. As well as the causes, questions are raise as to if there is any way to bring it to an end.  

Today, the Earth is thought to be more delicate than experts previously believed. Nature’s scientific journal suggested that fossil fuel emissions are having a larger impact on our sensitive planet.

Princeton University’s paper author Laure Resplandy states that she and her team members discovered oceans all over the world have absorbed considerably more heat in the last 25 years than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated in 2014. 

The effects of rising ocean temperatures include: rising sea levels, vigorous storms, sea ice melting, destruction of coral reefs, and changes in ocean currents. Underwater wildlife such as the inhabitants of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are suffering the most direct consequences, even dying due to the powerful storms provoked by rising ocean temperatures. These repercussions are evident in the forest fires that ravaged California this fall, the melting of the polar ice caps, and the impact of superstorms such as Hurricane Harvey over the past few years. 

“[This is] bad news for the ocean itself, bad news for the ecosystem,” states Research Director Laurent Bopp at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris during a meeting with CNN. He also adds, “Climate change is not only about the next decades to the end of the century. It will affect the earth for centuries and millennia after that.” The circulation of deep ocean waters is slow, resulting in long-term heat absorption.  This absorbed heat will most likely remain at the depths of the ocean for centuries, Bopp elaborates.  

The United Nations recently cautioned the world that only an estimated 10 years remain to fix the catastrophic levels of global warming before its effects are irreversible. The organization reports that governments must make “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” In 2015, the United States was one of 174 nations to sign the Paris Agreement, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent over the coming years. Prior to this, the Kyoto Protocol was put into play in 1997 as a framework constitution on global climate change, although never ratified by the United States and, in fact, abandoned by many member countries. 

If ocean temperatures continue to rise, the UN reports that the Earth, “will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels as early as 2030,” creating a risk of severe drought, wildfires, and mass flooding (CNN). 

Evidence of the rise in ocean temperatures and global warming can be seen through the vast amount of chilling research conducted over the past years. Many may cast a blind eye, but by doing this, the ocean’s temperature will only continue to rise, accelerating the downfall of our home planet.

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Ocean temperatures on the rise