2018 hottest year for ocean yet

Posted by Tara Osborne on 8 February 2019

Ice glaciers in the Antarctic are melting at a dramatic rate as temperatures continue to heat up due to climate change. Carbon emissions generated by the air pollution we create heat up the water, in turn affecting frozen regions of the world.

Scientific findings published this year in the journal Science shows that the problem is bigger than ever, as it indicates that ocean temperatures were at a record high in 2018.

Photo by Mathieu Perrier

Antarctica holds the biggest store of frozen water in the world, however this ice is becoming thinner and breaking apart at an ever faster rate.

Of the effects that greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere have on the earth, this is one of the worst and the oceans are affected the most; 90% of this trapped heat is absorbed by the oceans.

The full extent of the damage done may only be seen in the next 80 years, in 2100. Along with causing ice to melt, warmer oceans produce stronger waves and storms that can be destructive in their force.

‘This warming has contributed to increases in rainfall intensity, rising sea levels, the destruction of coral reefs, declining ocean oxygen levels, and declines in ice sheets; glaciers; and ice caps in the polar regions,’ say climate scientists in a Science article.

Rising sea levels pose a massive risk to people living on coastlines many of which are densely populated.

The Earth is warming up 40% faster rate than it was in the middle of last century, and CO2 emissions need to be drastically reduced should we hope to slow it down – although sadly, irreparable damage has already been done.

The visible effects of global warming can be seen in our oceans, explain scientists.

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