PanamaTimes

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Recent, rapid ocean warming ahead of El Niño alarms scientists

Recent, rapid ocean warming ahead of El Niño alarms scientists

A recent, rapid heating of the world’s oceans has alarmed scientists concerned that it will add to global warming.
This month, the global sea surface hit a new record high temperature. It has never warmed this much, this quickly. Scientists don’t fully understand why this has happened.


But they worry that, combined with other weather events, the world’s temperature could reach a concerning new level by the end of next year.

Experts believe that a strong El Niño weather event — a weather system that heats the ocean — will also set in over the next months.

Warmer oceans can kill off marine life, lead to more extreme weather and raise sea levels. They are also less efficient at absorbing planet-warming greenhouse gases.

Almost all the world’s sea surface has warmed, with especially strong warming in the Arctic of more than two degrees Celsius in places. There is a localized area of cooling southeast of Greenland.

An important new study, published last week with little fanfare, highlights a worrying development.

Over the past 15 years, the Earth has accumulated almost as much heat as it did in the previous 45 years, with most of the extra energy going into the oceans.

This is having real world consequences — not only did the overall temperature of the oceans hit a new record in April this year, in some regions the difference from the long term was enormous.

In March, sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America were as much as 13.8C higher than the 1981-2011 average.

“It’s not yet well established, why such a rapid change, and such a huge change is happening,” said Karina Von Schuckmann, the lead author of the new study and an oceanographer at the research group Mercator Ocean International.

“We have doubled the heat in the climate system the last 15 years, I don’t want to say this is climate change, or natural variability or a mixture of both, we don’t know yet. But we do see this change.”

One factor that could be influencing the level of heat going into the oceans is, interestingly, a reduction in pollution from shipping.

In 2020, the International Maritime Organization put in place a regulation to reduce the sulfur content of fuel burned by ships.

This has had a rapid impact, reducing the amount of aerosol particles released into the atmosphere.

But aerosols that dirty the air also help reflect heat back into space — removing them may have caused more heat to enter the waters.

Another important factor that is worrying scientists is the weather phenomenon known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation.

For the past three years this naturally occurring event has been in a cooler phase called La Niña, and has helped keep global temperatures in check.

But researchers now believe that a strong El Niño is forming which will have significant implications for the world.

“The Australian Bureau’s model does go strongly for a strong El Niño. And it has been trending that way and all the climate models have been trending that way to a stronger event,” said Hugh McDowell from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

McDowell cautioned that predictions at this point of the year are less reliable. Other researchers are more bullish.

A coastal El Niño has already developed off the shores of Peru and Ecuador and experts believe a fully formed event will follow with implications for global temperatures.

“If a new El Niño new comes on top of it, we will probably have additional global warming of 0.2-0.25C,” said Dr. Josef Ludescher, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.

Media caption,

“The impact on the temperature is relaxed a few months after the peak of any El Niño so this is why 2024 will be probably the warmest on record.”

“And we may, we will be close to 1.5C days and perhaps we will temporarily go over.”

El Niño will likely disrupt weather patterns around the world, weaken the monsoon and threaten more wildfires in Australia.

But there are more fundamental worries that as more heat goes into the ocean, the waters may be less able to store excess energy.

And there are concerns that the heat contained in the oceans won’t stay there. Several scientists contacted for this story were reluctant to go on the record about the implications.

One spoke of being “extremely worried and completely stressed.”

Some research has shown that world is warming in jumps, where little changes over a period of years and then there are sudden leaps upwards, like steps on a stairs, closely linked to the development of El Niño.

There is some hope in this scenario, according to Karina Von Schuckmann. Temperatures may come down again after the El Niño subsides.

“We still have a window where we can act and we should use this to reduce the consequences,” she told BBC News.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×