Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought

January 10, 2019, University of California - Berkeley
A new analysis shows that ocean temperatures are on the rise -- and they are going up faster than once thought. Credit: public domain

Heat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than previously thought, concludes an analysis of four recent ocean heating observations. The results provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or "hiatus" in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded.

"If you want to see where global warming is happening, look in our oceans," said Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the paper. "Ocean heating is a very important indicator of change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought."

Ocean heating is critical marker of climate change because an estimated 93 percent of the excess solar energy trapped by accumulates in the world's oceans. And, unlike , are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.

The new analysis, published Jan. 11 in Science, shows that trends in ocean heat content match those predicted by leading climate change models, and that overall ocean warming is accelerating.

Assuming a "business-as-usual" scenario in which no effort has been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models predict that the of the top 2,000 meters of the world's oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The thermal expansion caused by this bump in temperature would raise sea levels 30 centimeters, or around 12 inches, on top of the already significant sea level rise caused by melting glaciers and ice sheets. Warmer oceans also contribute to stronger storms, hurricanes and extreme precipitation.

"While 2018 will be the fourth warmest year on record on the surface, it will most certainly be the warmest year on record in the oceans, as was 2017 and 2016 before that," Hausfather said. "The signal is a lot easier to detect if it is changing in the oceans than on the surface."

The four studies, published between 2014 and 2017, provide better estimates of past trends in ocean heat content by correcting for discrepancies between different types of ocean temperature measurements and by better accounting for gaps in measurements over time or location.

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2013, showed that leading climate change models seemed to predict a much faster increase in ocean heat content over the last 30 years than was seen in observations," Hausfather said. "That was a problem, because of all things, that is one thing we really hope the models will get right."

"The fact that these corrected records now do agree with climate models is encouraging in that is removes an area of big uncertainty that we previously had," he said.

Deep Divers

A fleet of nearly 4,000 floating robots drift throughout the world's oceans, every few days diving to a depth of 2000 meters and measuring the ocean's temperature, pH, salinity and other bits of information as they rise back up. This ocean-monitoring battalion, called Argo, has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s.

Prior to Argo, ocean temperature data was sparse at best, relying on devices called expendable bathythermographs that sank to the depths only once, transmitting data on ocean temperature until settling into watery graves.

Three of the new studies included in the Science analysis calculated ocean heat content back to 1970 and before using new methods to correct for calibration errors and biases in the both the Argo and bathythermograph data. The fourth takes a completely different approach, using the fact that a warming ocean releases oxygen to the atmosphere to calculate warming from changes in atmospheric oxygen concentrations, while accounting for other factors, like burning fossil fuels, that also change atmospheric oxygen levels.

"Scientists are continually working to improve how to interpret and analyze what was a fairly imperfect and limited set of data prior to the early 2000s," Hausfather said. "These four new records that have been published in recent years seem to fix a lot of problems that were plaguing the old records, and now they seem to agree quite well with what the climate models have produced."

Explore further: A century and half of reconstructed ocean warming offers clues for the future

More information: DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7619 "How fast are the oceans warming?" Science (2019). http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aav7619

Related Stories

Ocean temperature as a vital sign revealing Earth's warming

September 14, 2017

Human activities have released carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the result is an accumulation of heat in the Earth's climate system, commonly referred to as "global warming." But how fast ...

Oceans are warming rapidly, study says

June 30, 2017

More than 90 percent of the Earth's energy imbalance (EEI) in the climate system is sequestered in the ocean, and consequently, the ocean heat content (OHC) is increasing. Therefore, OHC is one of the most important indicators ...

New estimate of ocean heat finds more warming

March 13, 2017

The oceans may be storing 13 percent more heat than previously estimated, according to a new study co-authored by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Recommended for you

Afromontane forests and climate change

January 17, 2019

In the world of paleoecology, little has been known about the historical record of ecosystems in the West African highlands, especially with regard to glacial cycles amidst a shifting climate and their effects on species ...

49 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
2.4 / 5 (17) Jan 10, 2019
except for the parts of the oceans that are still cooling and will continue to do so for another 500 years.
szore88
2.7 / 5 (12) Jan 10, 2019
Again with the Marxist "GW" BS?
Bert_Halls
3 / 5 (8) Jan 10, 2019
Go fuck yourselves, fascist shills!
V4Vendicar
4.4 / 5 (13) Jan 10, 2019
So many anti-science Conservative American Retards post to these threads on global warming science.

It is almost as if they were created specifically for that purpose.
philstacy9
1 / 5 (5) Jan 10, 2019
RealityCheck
2.5 / 5 (13) Jan 10, 2019
@Shootist.
except for the parts of the oceans that are still cooling and will continue to do so for another 500 years.
Yes, those parts in which the AGW induced meltwater from shrinking glaciers and ice-sheets is increasingly intruding while the global ocean is warming overall due to AGW.

ps: Since all this, and more, was predicted, and explained to you many times before, one is driven to the conclusion that you are a Russian/GOP paid internet troll; or perhaps just a run-of-the-mill dupe easily exploited 'for free' by such bad internet actors; which then raises the further question of whether you were you one of the many social media dupes 'played' by the Russians to influence the US elections? It is now known that there were many US citizens/residents duped in that way, so this further question is just about whether you were one of those dupes, @Shootist. You sure sound like one of those Russian paid trolls or silly dupes; or you're a bit of both! Either way: Sad.
RealityCheck
2.2 / 5 (10) Jan 10, 2019
@szore88.
Again with the Marxist "GW" BS?
Obviously you are yet another Russian/GOP troll or dumb bot, with nothing but stupid propaganda spiels to 'post' on the internet. If you are neither of those, then prove it to us by explaining what is so "Marxist" about all those CAPITALIST INSURANCE COMPANIES increasingly factoring rapidly increasing AGW related disaster events/costs into their operations/coverage costs/premiums. Thanks.
Old_C_Code
2 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2019
Russian trolls? lol. More Trump derangement syndrome. Amazing how Trump has driven so many people literally insane. Fools.
RealityCheck
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 10, 2019
@Old_C_Code.
Russian trolls? lol. More Trump derangement syndrome. Amazing how Trump has driven so many people literally insane. Fools.
Mate, consider the possibility that it is you that is suffering from denial syndrome (or perhaps just being (inexplicably) uninformed and/or naive about the real world). Just read these links and you will see for yourself the reality re Russian Troll Factories...

https://www.npr.o...soap-ope

https://en.wikipe...able=yes

http://www.google...Lihee_K8

Please be more objective observer of all the reality, including the global political/criminal reality. :)
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (9) Jan 10, 2019
Oh yay, and if we stop CO₂ increase right now (yeah right) it will still keep getting hotter for a century as the oceans re-radiate their heat.
aksdad
3 / 5 (10) Jan 10, 2019
This ocean-monitoring battalion, called Argo, has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s.

Gives the impression that all 4,000 Argo floats have been recording data at the same locations for 15 years or so. In fact they have been deployed in phases so there weren't many at first, and the lifetime of each was 4 years (working on extending to 6 years) so the data is patchy both spatially and temporally.

https://en.wikipe...ography)

It's better than nothing, but deriving ocean heat content from it is problematic. They float and drift freely, so they aren't sampling the same patch of water over time. Temperature can change quite a bit in locations that are only a few miles apart. And the "four new records" used to "correct for calibration errors and biases" are not nearly as precise as the authors want you to believe.

Color me skeptical about "warming more rapidly than we thought".
snoosebaum
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 10, 2019
howhot3
3.7 / 5 (12) Jan 10, 2019
Russian trolls? lol. More Trump derangement syndrome. Amazing how Trump has driven so many people literally insane. Fools.

You evil little shit, Another GOP/Russian troll.
howhot3
3.9 / 5 (11) Jan 10, 2019
@askdad and @snoozeybum; Additional GOP/Russian trolls. Denier goons.
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (10) Jan 10, 2019
I see little profit in identifying the disruptive Russian troll farmers here. Anyone who's watching can see who they are. They're the ones who can't do math.
howhot3
4.1 / 5 (9) Jan 10, 2019
Believe it or not, I got one to confess he lived in St. Petersberg. Haha. Oddly, he no longer shows up on Phys.org. I guess he was fired.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 10, 2019
I guess he was fired.

Nawww, just changed its handle.
howhot3
4 / 5 (8) Jan 10, 2019
Nawww, just changed its handle.

It's possible, but he had a pretty structured MO. I've seen the same type before him with the same schtick, so yeah, Russian trolls are certainly here doing Putin's bidding.

,
Anonym518498
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2019
the sky is falling the sky is falling, I'm a russian troll, I live in the gulag archipelago, my name is solzhenitsyn.

no doubt you dumb arse "global warming scientists" will believe me
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (5) Jan 10, 2019
I never liked Trump, never voted for him, you idiot. If you think Russian trolls exist on phys .org, you are not only stupid but insane too.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2019

@O_C_C
I/we voted for Trump in 2016 and will vote for him again in 2020. He is exactly the kind of unapologetic leader that is good for the USA. Barack Obama apologised to so many world leaders for America's greatness and power that it was hard to tell which people he was working for - Americans or Saudis, Germans, French, etc. He tried to destroy the US economy for 8 years, and he would've succeeded if Hilary Clinton had won. B.O still has his fingers in the government pie. Do you think that this Mueller investigation into alleged Russian collusion was solely made up by the FBI and CIA operatives? Of course not. Obama was pissed off that Hilary didn't win, so he set out to help those agencies get rid of the winner - Trump. There was no collusion with Russians and it was Hillary that paid the British bloke to make up the lie about prostitutes in Moscow peeing on the Obama's bed at the behest of Trump. Total falsehood and a lot of idiots bought into the lies. Disgraceful
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2019
@Old_C_Code.
Russian trolls? lol. More Trump derangement syndrome. Amazing how Trump has driven so many people literally insane. Fools.
Mate, consider the possibility that it is you that is suffering from denial syndrome (or perhaps just being (inexplicably) uninformed and/or naive about the real world). Just read these links and you will see for yourself the reality re Russian Troll Factories...

https://www.npr.o...soap-ope

Please be more objective observer...., including the global political/criminal reality. :)
says RealityCheck

Really? You are getting such information from well-known Socialist/Communist apparatchik media as NPR? When have you become so naive, RC? NPR radio, when it isn't spouting Socialist propaganda - is full of fluff and vomit. There are Russian, Chinese, German, American, Cuban, Syrian etc spies. What else is new?
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2019
except for the parts of the oceans that are still cooling and will continue to do so for another 500 years.
says Shootist

It is apparent that the Anthropo Global Warming cabal have been collecting the ocean water temperatures from only certain parts of the Earth and using those temps to use in their attempts to pretend that those temperatures are GLOBAL rather than regional or local, in order to convince the foolish and gullible that ocean waters are warming everywhere, which they are not.
I still haven't seen any MASS ADVERTISING anywhere to earnestly appeal to humans to recycle and avoid polluting.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2019
Believe it or not, I got one to confess he lived in St. Petersberg. Haha. Oddly, he no longer shows up on Phys.org. I guess he was fired.
says howhot3

I hear that the weather in St. Petersburg in the State of Florida is warm and pleasant this time of the year. Perhaps your friend is busy water-skiing or scuba diving?
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2019
ATTENTION EVERYONE

The person in the posts above on this page is NOT the "REAL" RealityCheck. It is an imposter who has taken the user name, "RealityCheck" and typed the capital " i " key instead of typing the small L key which also looks like a capital " i " as in "WIN". I knew there is something wrong, since the REAL RealityCheck always uses the / key to type e.g similar words/ideas and thoughts/ideas, for example.
PLEASE BE FOREWARNED. THAT IS NOT THE REAL "RealityCheck".
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2019
Yes, because jebus is making the water hot in order to bring on Armageddon. /s

Psychotic trolls are so easy to predict.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2019
@Da Pussyman
Can your Jebus make the water hot enough to boil lobsters? When is Armageddon and whose side will YOU be on?
Just askin' since YOU brought it up.
STR
1 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2019
I guess the fact I'm from Cambridge, UK, and not a member of the AGW faith throws a spanner into the works...

Those members of the faith are quite funny, and reading some of these comments does help pass the time
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
Then don't post your psychotic delusional YEC bullshiit on the science site.
STR
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
Then don't post your psychotic delusional YEC bullshiit on the science site.


I'm pretty sure this science site is about...science. So you and yours of the faith, what are you doing here?
Parsec
5 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
I see little profit in identifying the disruptive Russian troll farmers here. Anyone who's watching can see who they are. They're the ones who can't do math.


I doubt any of these idiots are actually Russian trolls in reality. Or even trolls really.

Just idiots.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
Idiots using trolling tactics = trolls.
unrealone1
1 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
And yet the world has been cooling for 8,000 years? Umm.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
And heating for the last 150.
STR
1.2 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2019
And heating for the last 150.


Heating prior to LIA, cooling prior to MWP, heating, cooling... crazy stuff.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2019
COOLING OF THE GLOBAL OCEAN SINCE 2003

https://friendsof...mp;E.pdf
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2019
oh look! this is what its all about

https://phys.org/...eat.html
philstacy9
1 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2019
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
@S_E_U.
ATTENTION EVERYONE The person in the posts above on this page is NOT the "REAL" RealityCheck. It is an imposter who has taken the user name, "RealityCheck" and typed the capital " i " key instead of typing the small L key which also looks like a capital " i " as in "WIN". I knew there is something wrong, since the REAL RealityCheck always uses the / key to type e.g similar words/ideas and thoughts/ideas, for example.
No, mate, it's ME. :)

I suspect that your monitor screen had a tiny speck of light-reflecting 'smudge' at just the right/wrong) place to 'break' the 'black line' of the lower case "l"....making the "l" look like lower case "i".

ps: I suspect this because that sort of thing has happened on my monitor from time to time. But since I always double check my 'reading' of others' posts, I usually catch it before jumping to the sort of reaction you just did, S_E_U.

pps: I WAS 'harsh' with Shootist; but I clearly explained why in the relevant post. :)
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
@S_E_U.
Please be more objective observer...., including the global political/criminal reality.
Really? You are getting such information from well-known Socialist/Communist apparatchik media as NPR?
The 'clue' is in my username: @RealityCheck. :)

I'm independent IMPARTIAL researcher/observer re diverse matters, as demonstrated by my posting record at PO. As such, I seek/obtain info/news/science in/from various ways/sources, including personal contacts in relevant milieus/countries involved. I hence compare and weigh probability of true/false values before making objective conclusion/observation.
There are Russian, Chinese, German, American, Cuban, Syrian etc spies. What else is new?
Exactly! Which is why I was stunned by @Old_C_Code's seeming naive and/or uninformed 'denial' of Russian/GOP Troll Factory existence/activity of some years now. The links I gave were for him/anyone else to start researching/informing for himself/themselves. Good luck all. :)
greenonions1
5 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2019
RealityCheck
I'm independent IMPARTIAL...
SEU makes similar claim here -
I am but a mere scholar and interested observer
https://phys.org/...ave.html (Jan 11th) Also claims to not be human - but refuses to then answer 'If not human - then what are you?'
I am not questioning your assertion Reality - just noticing how weird on line discussion can be. I wonder if such extreme disconnect (like claiming to not be human) - explains why there is so little chance/hope of any headway in terms of talking to denialists and Trump supporters. Admitting that the underlying assumptions - may be so far apart, progress is impossible. Just musings on a dreary Saturday afternoon.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
@greenonions1.
RealityCheck
I'm independent IMPARTIAL...
SEU makes similar claim here -
I am but a mere scholar and interested observer
https://phys.org/...ave.html (Jan 11th) Also claims to not be human - but refuses to then answer 'If not human - then what are you?'
I am not questioning your assertion Reality - just noticing how weird on line discussion can be. I wonder if such extreme disconnect (like claiming to not be human) - explains why there is so little chance/hope of any headway in terms of talking to denialists and Trump supporters. Admitting that the underlying assumptions - may be so far apart, progress is impossible....
Actually, the respective claims you quoted are not strictly "similar", mate. My PO posting record shows I am DEMONSTRABLY independent IMPARTIAL objective etc, regardless of 'sides'. I can't answer for others. It remains: Impartial is as impartial does/demonstrates. :)
SteveS
5 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2019
And yet the world has been cooling for 8,000 years? Umm.

https://xkcd.com/1732/
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2019
Kinda puts the MWP and LIA into perspective, huh?
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2019
I would not take too much notice about the group claiming to improve on IPCC, since it ironically started out as a critical organization by climate science skeptic scientists founded by the Koch brothers. But by 2012 they too were forced to accept that the expert climate scientists had concluded already in the 70s, the difference being that they insist in their own calibrations. And IPCC is of course conservatively cautious.

On this car accident of a thread, not much to say. Political critics of climate science that cannot reference the global promoted IPCC science integration bring no real criticism. And again, local cold events are not indicative of the global trend, same difference as when mistaking weather for climate - it is irrelevant at best.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2019
Reality
Actually, the respective claims you quoted are not strictly "similar
Well - on the surface they do appear similar - someone claiming to be objective. I agree with your point - that you address the evidence - which supports the assertion of being consistent.
My point was to highlight - how you can find yourself thinking the person you are exchanging ideas with - is actually reasonable. Only to find they actually claim to not be 'human'...…
Quite an interesting twist...

RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2019
@greenonions.
Actually, the respective claims you quoted are not strictly "similar
Well - on the surface they do appear similar - someone claiming to be objective. I agree with your point - that you address the evidence - which supports the assertion of being consistent.
My point was to highlight - how you can find yourself thinking the person you are exchanging ideas with - is actually reasonable. Only to find they actually claim to not be 'human'...…
Quite an interesting twist...
Yes, I already understood that was what you were driving at, mate. I just wanted to make clear the (effective/demonstrable) distinctions between the two claims you quoted, that's all. :)

ps: I sympathize with the consternation you must feel when confronted with the situation you describe. I feel similar sort of consternation whenever those who profess to be 'defending science' bot-vote me '1' even when I am demonstrably correct (as increasingly confirmed by mainstream). :)
MaxwellSmith
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2019
Melting of the Arctic will usher in the massive snowfalls to the Northern Hemispheres. Happening sooner than you think. The Arctic Ocean was open during the last glacial period.
Read Ewing and Donn research 60 years ago.
FredJose
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2019
WoW! The global warming issue is realllllly a HOT potato !!!

Perhaps it would be a much better plan to pay much, much more attention to the Global Warning!!!

This planet is doomed for destruction. It is going to get really, really hot here; it will burn like an oven.

2Peter 3:10:
10: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness…

So it's all going down anyway. You might as well heed the Global Warning and turn to the ONE who can save you from the lake of fire that is SURELY coming. No speculation required.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.