Record ocean temperatures put Earth in ‘uncharted territory’, say scientists
‘Unprecedented’ warming indicates climate crisis is taking place before our eyes, experts say
Icebergs at Disko Bay, Ilulissat, Greenland. Warmer water at the poles accelerates the melting of the ice caps. Photograph: Hollandse Hoogte/Rex/Shutterstock
Temperatures in the world’s oceans have broken fresh records, testing new highs for more than a month in an “unprecedented” run that has led to scientists stating the Earth has reached “uncharted territory” in the climate crisis.
The rapid acceleration of ocean temperatures in the last month is an anomaly that scientists have yet to explain. Data collated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), known as the Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) series, gathered by satellites and buoys, has shown temperatures higher than in any previous year, in a series stretching back to 1981, continuously over the past 42 days.
The world is thought to be on the brink of an El Niño weather event this year – a cyclical weather system in the Pacific, that has a warming impact globally. [continue]