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Oceans Are Heating Up 40% Faster Than Previous Estimates

Oceans Are Heating Up 40% Faster Than Previous Estimates


  • GS 3 || Environment || Climate Change || Global Warming 

Why in News?

  • Heat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than it is assessed.

Zeke Hausfather’s Paper

  • Zeke Hausfather in the Energy and Resources Group co-authored the paper on ocean’s heating.
  • Deduced by an analysis of four recent ocean-heating observations.
  • Ocean heating is an efficient signal of climate change.
  • Almost 93% of the excess solar energy trapped by greenhouse gases is trapped in the oceans.
  • Ocean temperatures are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.
  • Assuming a “business-as-usual” scenario in which no effort has been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, predict that the temperature 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 30cm, 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.
  • 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.

Mission Argo & other Three Studies:

  • A fleet of almost 4,000 waterproof robots able to dive within the sea water have been diving into a depth of 2000 meters and recording and measuring the ocean’s temperature, pH, salinity and other essential information.
  • This ocean-monitoring battalion has been given the name of Argo.
  • These bots have been on the operation since mid-2000s.
  • Before Argo, assessment of the ocean’s heat wasn’t that easy to reckon, rather it was more based on bathythermographs, which used to sink into depths and transmitting the data on ocean temperature until settling into watery graves.
  • Earlier three studies are based on the data available till 1970 and after 1970 by using some new methods to assess the ocean’s heat. Bathythermographs were the third method, and the robots are the fourth method

IPCC in Little

  • Founded : 1988
  • Q. : Geneva, Switzerland
  • Head: Hoesung Lee
  • Parent Organization : World Meteorological Organization under
  • UN Environment Program
  • Currently has 195 Members

Mains Qn:

  • What impact warming of ocean will have on climate of region?