Global climate change

The world's oceans have been absorbing more heat than previous estimates

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
11/02/2018, 1:43:59 PM

New research from Princeton University and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography has determined that the Earth is even more sensitive to fossil-fuel emissions than previously thought.

The research team concluded that the world's oceans have taken up 60 percent more heat than what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in their fifth Assessment report from 2014.

Scientists know that the ocean takes up roughly 90 percent of all the excess energy produced as the Earth warms, so knowing the actual amount of energy makes it possible to estimate the surface warming we can expect, said co-author Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Oceanography geophysicist. (via the Princeton University News.)

The research team combined reassessments of ocean heat content with global ocean sensor data (ARGO floats) to help obtain their results.

The study concludes that emissions of CO2 produced by human activities must be reduced by 25 percent compared to previous estimates in order to prevent a global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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Global climate change