The world’s ocean temperatures reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet, states The Guardian.

What happened?

The new analysis shows that the past five years have been the top 5 warmest years according to ocean temperature, and the past 10 years are also the top 10 years on record. The amount of heat being added to the oceans is equivalent to every person on the planet running 100 microwave ovens all day and all night.

Why does it matter?

The world’s oceans are the clearest measurement of the current climate emergency because they absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases, which are emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, forest destruction and other human activities.

“The oceans are really what tells you how fast the Earth is warming. Using the oceans, we see a continued, uninterrupted and accelerating warming rate of planet Earth. This is dire news.”

Prof John Abraham at the University of St Thomas, in Minnesota, US

Besides the fact the hot oceans release more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this also leads to more severe storms and disrupt the water cycle, meaning more floods, droughts and wildfires, as well as an inexorable rise in sea level. 

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