Friday, January 11, 2019

World's Oceans Are Warming Faster, Studies Show, Fueling Storms and Sea Rise

'Global warming is here, it has major consequences, and it's going to be very, very difficult to get this under control,' an author of a new report says.

Ocean warming fuels hurricanes and sea level rise and also affects sea life, sending fish populations migrating to cooler water and causing coral bleaching. (Credit: Kelsey Roberts/USGS) Click to Enlarge.
A new study published Thursday strengthens the consensus that the warming of the world's oceans is accelerating.

It's a trend that climate models have long predicted, but it had been difficult to confirm until recently.

The findings are vindication of the scientific community's work so far and lend greater weight to the projections for warming through the end of this century, said Gavin Schmidt, a leading climate scientist at Columbia University who was not involved in the study.

The new paper, published in the journal Science, reviews four studies conducted over the past decade and was partly a response to a controversy over one of them, an article published in the journal Nature on Nov. 1. The authors of the November article were forced to issue a correction after discovering they had made errors in their assumptions and that the uncertainty in their findings was much greater than they had thought.

While the November paper made some "disquieting" assumptions, the corrected version is closely in line with three other studies that used different techniques, said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and coauthor of the new review.

The overall point—that warming is accelerating—holds true, and it helps explain why we're starting to see the effects of warming through stronger storms and severe weather, he said.

World's Oceans Are Warming Faster, Studies Show, Fueling Storms and Sea Rise

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