Oceans reach highest temperatures on record in 2017

  The world’s oceans rose to the highest temperatures on record in 2017. Chinese experts found the upper 2,000m of ocean water were far more warmer last year than the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha
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The world’s oceans rose to the highest temperatures on record in 2017.

Chinese experts found the upper 2,000m of ocean water were far more warmer last year than the previous hottest year in 2015.

The Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP CAS) said in comparison, total electricity generation in China in 2016 “was 699 times smaller than the increase in ocean heat in 2017”.

The oceans play many roles in the climate process – it absorbs around a third of the world’s CO2 emissions and also stores huge quantities of heat.

The researchers said more than 90% of Earth’s residual heat related to global warming is absorbed by the ocean and the heat content record “robustly represents the signature of global warming”.

Research authors Lijing Cheng and Jian Zhu added: “The high ocean temperatures in recent years have occurred as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have also risen, reaching record highs in 2017.

“The results support the provisional announcement by the World Meteorological Organisation in November 2017 that ‘global ocean heat content in 2017 to date has been at or near record high levels’.”