A new study has just concluded that the oceans are warming up at a faster rate than even the estimates done recently on the subject. The new study has found that between 1991 and 2016 the oceans have warmed up an average of 60% more per year than previous studies had seemed to show.
In October a panel of scientists had said we had until 2040 before the increase in
greenhouses gases would result in coastal flooding, food shortages and massive die-offs of coral reefs. If the new ocean temperatures are accurate that would mean that the climate change of the past decades was far worse than previously thought and it seems that we are on the worst trajectory possible for climate change.
A new method was used to get the new readings, involving calculating the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. As these gases dissolve in the oceans the temperature in the oceans is important. As the oceans are getting warmer they are pushing out oxygen and carbon dioxide. The higher the temperature the more theses gases are released.
The world’s oceans absorb 90% of the excess heat trapped on Earth by human greenhouse emissions. The October report used a lower estimate of that rate at which the oceans can capture the carbon dioxide. It now seems that the upper estimate was more likely to happen.
It is clear that if the methodology of the new method is correct, we are therefore much closer to the limit, and that the limit may not be 2040 but much earlier than previously thought. In other words, we might have far less time to turn around from the brink