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Study – Climate change has led to record temperatures in the world’s oceans in 2022

Climate change is causing new temperatures to be recorded not only on land, but also in the oceans. According to a study published Wednesday by an international team of researchers in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 2022 was the hottest year in the oceans since measurements began. Due to global warming, new temperatures are expected to be recorded.

The study involved 24 scientists from 16 research institutes around the world. The study authors from the USA, China, Italy and New Zealand highlight that the oceans absorb about 90 percent of the excess human-caused heat along with greenhouse gas emissions.

Man-made climate change increases sea surface temperatures, which in turn destabilizes the weather and leads to an increase in storms and other extreme weather events. In the sea itself, persistent heat waves are already having devastating effects on the flora and fauna there.

The study authors describe that the temperature in the world’s oceans last year exceeded the average value of previous years by about ten zitajoules. That’s 100 times the world’s electricity generation in 2021. Records going back to the late 1950s show a steady rise in ocean temperatures. Since about 1985 the increase has been particularly noticeable.

The sea is losing oxygen

Scientists have repeatedly warned that rising temperatures are throwing the oceans out of balance faster than first thought. Climate change is also causing the seas to become more salinity. Both factors contribute to stratification in the oceans. Between these layers, water no longer mixes, and this in turn hinders the exchange of heat, oxygen and carbon dioxide.

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The bottom line is that the sea loses oxygen as a result, according to the study. The loss of oxygen, the co-authors explained, is “a nightmare not only for life and ecosystems in the sea, but also for humans and our ecosystems on land.”

On Tuesday, the European Copernicus Earth Observation Program presented its annual report, in which it stated that 2022 was the warmest year since the beginning of recording a quarter of humanity. New highs have been measured in Western Europe, China and the Middle East, among other places. The effects of climate change in the form of more frequent and severe extreme weather events such as droughts, storms and floods are a worldwide concern. (apa/ag)