Hurry up James, the oceans are beginning to boil

As James Hansen from NASA famously said in a video on 31 August, “the oceans will begin to boil”  (2:11 into the video)

The Guardian, 20 July 2015. “The oceans are warming faster than climate models predicted.” Quote.

As I have said many times on this blog, if you want to know how much “global warming” is happening, you really have to be able to measure “ocean warming”. That is because more than 90% of the excess energy coming to the Earth from greenhouse gases goes into the ocean waters.[…] End of quote.

Motherboard blog, 14 August 2015. “By 2100, Earth Will Have an Entirely Different Ocean.”  Quote.

[…] Water can absorb far more heat than air, which is why the ocean has sucked down the bulk of the heat that has resulted from climate change. This is a good thing for the climate; it means air temperatures aren’t heating up as rapidly as they otherwise would—and it’s the reason there was a so-called “pause” in planetary warming. But it also means the ocean is beginning to heat up in a serious way.    

“Over the last 39 years, oceans have warmed at average rates of >0.1˚C per decade in the upper 75 meter and 0.015˚C per decade at 700 m depth,” the IPCC report explains. This may not sound like much, but it is. Shallow waters are warming up, fast. By the end of the century, if warming continues apace, shallow waters may be a full degree Celsius warmer, on average, which could be dangerous to marine ecosystems and may help feed tropical storms.

Even incremental increases in temperature cause coral to bleach, for instance, a phenomenon plaguing the keystone species around the world. Combined with acidification, which we’ll get to shortly, coral risks flat-out extinction by century’s end. That’s the conclusion of a 2012 study published in Science; “Nearly every coral reef could be dying by 2100 if current carbon dioxide emission trends continue.”

Meanwhile, because warmer water is quicker to evaporate, it means the ocean can fuel more powerful storms. Combined with higher sea levels, by 2100, the ocean will be more prone to overwhelm nearby communities in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm. And while the warming waters will prove problematic everywhere, the heating will be most pronounced away from the equator. […]  End of quote.

Isn’t it such a nuisance when reality bites?

The latest ocean temperature data shows that there is diddly squat difference in the ocean temperatures over the last 23 years.

Using ocean temperature is valid because sea surface temperatures are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, the oceans cover 71% of the planet surface and thus dominate surface temperature estimates.

And yet, over that same 23 year period, carbon dioxide levels have marched ever higher, from about 358 ppm to 411 ppm yesterday.

You are correct, James and Jacinda. We urgently need to destroy our economy, ban oil and gas and kill off dairying, etc and get to zero carbon as soon as possible because the oceans are nearly boiling.

The reader can draw their own conclusions about the lead photograph for this post.


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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