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Home / Science / The oceans are warming faster than we thought, and scientists suggest we brace for impact

The oceans are warming faster than we thought, and scientists suggest we brace for impact




The oceans are actually warming 40 to 50 percent faster than the most recently suggested IPCC report. (iStock)

The oceans are warming up faster than suggested by climate reports, according to a new summary of temperature observations published this week. The most recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made what has proved to be a very conservative estimate of the rise in ocean temperature and scientists are now advising us to adjust our expectations.

"The numbers will reach 40 to 50 percent [warmer] compared to the last IPCC report," said Kevin Trenberth, climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and author of the report, published on Science Magazine.

In addition, Trenberth said "2018 will be the hottest year ever recorded in the oceans" as it was 2017 and 2016 before.

Oceans cover 70% of the globe and absorb 93% of the planet's extra heat from climate change. disasters such as the hurricanes Florence and Mary and the generation of torrential rains through meteorological processes with names such as "atmospheric river" and "Pineapple Express".

Sea levels are increasing with obs inevitable consequences along the east coast and around the world, both physically and financially. Trenberth and his colleagues say that if the company continues to emit greenhouse gases at its current rate, the oceans will increase by one foot by the end of the century on top of the expected increase from the melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica. .

Scientists have begun to show how climate change is charging nuts in extreme weather conditions. After Hurricane Harvey, the researchers found that the deadly and expensive effects of the storm were likely to have worsened by the warmer oceans. And, as reported by the Washington Post in December, "a drought in East Africa that has caused 6 million people in Somalia in the face of food shortages has been caused by the dramatic warming of the ocean that could not have occurred without Impact of man on the environment. "

Several studies published in the last two years, some of which included errors that had to be corrected and published for the record, "we felt the need to make a more general assessment," said Trenberth.

Scientists have combined four set data to paint a picture of what has happened in the oceans since 1991. Trenberth and his co-authors say the ocean's heat content, which is a measure of the heat of the ocean. 39, water up to about 2,000 meters, is a "great meter to measure global warming" because the data are not as erratic as the temperature on earth, and it captures much more than the planet.

In the process, they discovered something interesting: their data agree with what the climate models were prediction. "Oh, maybe the models have more credibility than we thought," said Trenberth, voice firmly in the face.

As the planet warms up, the models have proved to be an invaluable tool. It is not enough to say that the climate is changing: scientists want to know how it will change in the future. Yet these models are one of the favorite goals of climate change skeptics. The so-called global warming pause between 1998 and 2013 seemed to be missing. At that time, scientists speculated that there was not really a break, but that heat was simply accumulating in the oceans, or that there was a data collection problem. They were right, but this did not save the models from criticism.

This summary suggests that the models are going well. In fact, the oceans are behaving even better than expected, and have marched in line with the extreme ocean warming observed by thousands of temperature-gathering floats around the world. If climate models have actually behaved well in the past, it gives scientists more confidence in their predictions for the future.

Trenberth said that their relatively concise article published Thursday "highlights some of the developments that have occurred from the last report of the IPCC" that came out in 2014. The precedent came out in 2007. [19659014] Articles such as that of Science are useful to remind people of the progress made in science between large and large relationships, said Tom Di Liberto, a climatologist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration I report the IPCC they have research deadlines at least a year before they are published, science in the most recent report may have been made six to eight years ago and "there's a lot of things that have happened since then" Di Liberto said. "

" It speaks of the wider issue of scientific communication, "he continued." Science works slower than the way we communicate now. "

L Going forward, there are two scenarios where scientists are avorando. The low-emission scenario that the Paris agreement on climate change has been built around is no longer realistic, said Trenberth. The high-emission business-as-usual scenario will probably continue until around 2040, in his view, but in the end the company will find out how to handle the crisis.

"Yes, we must try to stop the emission of greenhouse gases, but inertia is great," said Trenberth. "So the climate will continue to change". He believes that adaptation is the way forward, rather than geoengineering, which "is not thought of at all and problematic".

Di Liberto agrees that we are already feeling the effects, but sees things change even in society.

"We have spent too much time and effort in people who might not be convinced" that climate change is real and important, he said. "But now there seems to be this basic movement of young people that matters to me." I do not remember a moment like this. "


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