We have another study indicating the rapidly worsening situation due to global climate change. A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that the amount of man-made heat energy absorbed by the seas has doubled since 1997. That absorption is much higher than anticipated and portends greater threats to ocean life as well as the continuing worsening of intense storms.
More than 90 percent of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world’s oceans instead of the ground. However, this study used data going back to the British research ship Challenger in the 1870s to track the rate of absorption and rise in temperatures. The results are very alarming. According to the report, the world’s oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy from 1865 to 1997, and then absorbed about another 150 in the next 18 years. To get an idea of the energy level: “if you exploded one atomic bomb the size of the one that dropped on Hiroshima every second for a year, the total energy released would be 2 zettajoules.” Thus, since 1997, Earth’s oceans have absorbed man-made heat energy equivalent to a Hiroshima-style bomb being exploded every second for 75 straight years.
The most alarming aspect is the exponential growth element. The pace of warming is speeding up. Even small increases in the ocean temperature can have massive impacts on ocean life and storms. Moreover, as the oceans warm, they absorb less . . . which means that heat stays in the air and on land surface.
The illustration below shows the increasingly hot areas in red as tracked through the years: