Ocean temperature indicates shocking outcome: Study

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A coral reef in the Maldives has been bleached white by heat stress (The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey, via Associated Press)
A coral reef in the Maldives has been bleached white by heat stress (The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey, via Associated Press)

New Delhi : While global warming is a threat to our planet, the changing climate is also giving warning signals. The unexpected climate change is warming the world's ocean at faster pace, killing off aquatic organisms including coral reefs and marine forests. The warmer water is causing sea levels to rise, creating extreme weather events like hurricanes and likewise which affects the entire ecosystems.

Recently, scientists took ocean water to predict the future effects of climate change and came up with shocking results.

A study published in the journal Nature suggests that oceans are warming far faster than the estimates laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global organization for climate data. The study was conducted by Laure Resplandy, a biogeochemical oceanographer at Princeton University; found that between 1991 and 2016 the oceans warmed an average of 60 percent more per year than the panel’s official estimates.

Lately, in October, he panel released a major report predicting that some of the worst effects of climate changes like coastal flooding, food shortages and a mass die-off of coral reefs could be noticed as soon as 2040 if human greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels. He I.P.C.C. report showed that scientists may have been underestimating the severity of the world’s present climate trajectory.

But, now, if the new ocean temperature is proven to be accurate then there could be another indication that the global warming of the past few decades has exceeded conservative estimates and have been more closely in line with scientists’ worst-case scenarios.

The scientists used a new approach to measure the ocean temperature, i.e, by measuring the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere.

Those gases dissolve in ocean waters, but the amount the ocean can hold depends on its temperature. “As the ocean has been warming, it’s basically pushing out oxygen and carbon dioxide,” said David Nicholson, an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who was not involved in the study.

As Dr. Resplandy put it: “If you leave a Coke outside in the sun, it’s going to warm and it’s going to lose the gas. It’s a little bit the same idea.”