Last year was not only the hottest year on record, but the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has just released a terrifying chart showing a sharp increase in the temperature of the world’s oceans. The graph outlines ocean temperatures since 1960, illustrating that the effects of global warming go beyond air temperature. In fact, the waters have warmed so quickly over the past 30 years, NOAA scientists have had to consistently retool their ocean heat charts to convey temperature increases.
Proving the skeptics wrong, climate change is here and very real. If rising global air temperatures are not enough to convince critics arguing against the reality of climate change, NOAA’s chart of ocean temperatures will. Even more disturbing, NOAA has had to remake its graphs to include 2014’s ocean temperatures, because initially they logged off the charts.
The soaring graph reflects the amount of heat contained in the Earth’s energy system, which equates to global warming. This can mean that air temperatures can fluctuate as energy moves from air to land to water. Measuring ocean temperatures is a more accurate way to graph global warming, as oceans retain and store roughly 90 percent of that energy.
NOAA updates the chart every three months with their findings, showing how temperatures can change in short amounts of time. With 2014 being the highest thermal energy year in recorded history, it is like the organization will need to consistently expand their graphing system for years to come.
Via The Grist
Image © Magnus Bråth