While it was startling to learn that 1/3 of polar bears will likely be wiped out due to climate change within the next 10 years, another report concerning the increasing ocean temperatures is just as concerning.
As reported by the Des Moines Register, the warming of the oceans due to climate change has caused temperatures to rise to their highest yet levels. US government climate scientists reported their findings July 16.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society’s annual state of the climate report, the surface and upper levels of the oceans are at record temperatures.
Co-editor of the report, NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, said the seas last year “were just ridiculous.”
Man’s obsession with utilizing non-renewable resources at an unsustainable rate is to blame for the increase in temperature. “About 93% of fossil fuels went into the world’s oceans,” said NOAA oceanographer Greg Johnson, “which helped contribute to severe storms, like tropical cyclones.”
The oceanographer also notes that subtropical fish not normally present so far north were being spotted off the coast of an unusually warm Alaska. Johnson doesn’t believe that a sudden cut of carbon emissions would help, however, because, “the effects are too far gone.”
“I think of it more like a fly wheel or a freight train. It takes a big push to get it going but it is moving now and will continue to move long after we continue to pushing it,” he told reporters. “Even if we were to freeze greenhouse gases at current levels, the sea would actually continue to warm for centuries and millennia, and as they continue to warm and expand the sea levels will continue to rise.”
His opinion is harsher than that of researchers from the University of Georgia, who state that the only action to be taken to preserve the Earth and its inhabitants is to cut fossil fuels dramatically and employ renewable energies.
Based on research from 413 scientists from 58 countries, the report highlights include that there are many places, including Europe, that have reported record averages of heat. There were also more tropical cyclones, with 91 of them worldwide in 2014. That number is slightly more than the 30-year average of 82. In addition, glaciers worldwide continue to shrink, and the Arctic sea is regularly declining.
Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who wasn’t part of the report, summarized up the report best, saying that if this is Earth’s annual checkup, “the doctor is saying ‘you are gravely ill.’”
With knowing, however, comes the ability to inspire change, which is why articles relaying time-sensitive information has potential to shape the world’s future. In the case of this recent news concerning the oceans’ rising surface temperatures, readers like you have the ability to help raise awareness, and in that gift there is hope.
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