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Oceans have been Warming for at least 100 Years

April 2, 2012; 10:45 PM ET

The world's oceans have been experiencing a much longer warming trend than earlier thought, according to new research from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

According to the EurekAlert article, the world's oceans have warmed .33 degrees Celsius (.59 degrees Fahrenheit) in the upper portions of the ocean since the 1870's.

The initial ocean water temperature data was obtained by the historic voyage of HMS Challenger (1872-1876).

The results of this study will help scientists to understand the longer record of sea-level rise, because the expansion of seawater due to warming is a significant contributor to rising sea level, according to the report.

Key excerpt from the EurekAlert article.......

"The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years," said Roemmich, co-chairman of the International Argo Steering Team. "This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years."

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