Warming ocean temperatures have been a mainstay of global warming warnings since the idea was first examined. Now, a recent study by scientists of the Earth’s ocean’s temperatures since the 1950s shows that the world’s oceans in 2019 were 0.075 degrees Celsius higher than the 1981–2010 average.
According to Science Alert, while this may seem like a small number, the amount of heat required to create such a rise is actually immense. The study measured a 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 sextillion) joules increase in heat. Since this is hard for most to understand, the study explained this incredible heat as being comparable to the energy released by the atomic bomb dropped by the US of Hiroshima in 1945.
“The amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions,” said Lijing Cheng, lead paper author and associate professor with the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). “This measured ocean warming is irrefutable and is further proof of global warming. There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat-trapping gases to explain this heating.”
This study reiterates what was already known, that the oceans are getting warmer and the increase in temperature is not slowing down. 2019 was the warmest year on record, with trends showing 2020 is likely to beat it.
“It is critical to understand how fast things are changing,” said John Abraham, co-author and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in the United States. “The key to answering this question is in the oceans — that’s where the vast majority of heat ends up. If you want to understand global warming, you have to measure ocean warming.”
Those working on the study suggest taking drastic action to address greenhouse gas emissions and the way we use and produce energy as a solution to this incredible climate concern.