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Ocean Heat Indicates More Global Warming

First Posted: Mar 14, 2017 04:40 AM EDT
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Two women pray in the ocean at Coney Island on a warm autumn day on Oct. 19, 2016 in New York City. (Image for representation only.)
(Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt may not believe in climate change. And yet much to the dismay of scienctists, it seems that the oceans are now storing up to 13 percent more heat than originally thought.

A study co-authored by the scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzed data based on how ocean temperatures have changed since 1960. They compared it to estimates published in a report in 2013, and the results showed how much warmer the waters have been since the initial report.

Phys.org reported that the vast majority of the heat trapped on Earth has been caused by gas emissions. In fact, up to 90 percent of the warming can be attributed by them. However, until lately, measuring the heat content of oceans has changed and has been a challenge due mainly to sparse observations. Historically speaking, ocean temperatures have been measured by various ships over the years, but these were limited based on the areas that the said ships travel.

Since 2005, however, a new type of sensing devices had been deployed in the ocean and are spread across where they can rise and fall in the waters as they collect temperature data up to 2,000 meters in depth. Once they rise to the ocean surface, the data are sent wirelessly over satellites for later examination and analysis.

According to The Guardian, the main outcome is that waters are warming at a 13 percent faster rate. The warming from 1992 is twice as great as the warming rate in 1960. Finally, it is also noted that it was not until 1990 that the warming penetrated to depths about 700 meters.

The increase in ocean heat can affect storms, including deluges and "thousand-year-floods," which is why looking into it is important. The knowledge and understanding regarding the ocean warming could help scientists more with regards to taking action as future changes unfold.

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