Oceans break temperature record in 2023

According to a study published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, the global average ocean surface temperature increased by 0,23°C last year compared to 2022.

Not only will 2023 become the warmest year in terms of global temperatures; According to A study published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmocultural Sciences, the same thing happened with the oceans, breaking the record for highest temperature for the fifth consecutive year. The publication also shows that this warming trend will continue throughout this century, even if greenhouse gas emissions stop.

Last year, the global average sea surface temperature registered an increase of 0,23°C compared to 2022, as the shallowest 2.000 meters of the ocean absorbed more heat than the previous year, causing records of the previous maximum.

According to the agency, the research team, made up of 17 research institutions from China, the United States, New Zealand, Italy and France, found that the heat stored in the ocean is equivalent to "boiling 2.300 billion Olympic swimming tanks." This was reported on Thursday by China's official news agency, Xinhua.

The study also calculated the salinity of seawater and found that in areas with high salinity, the amount of salt increased proportionally, while in areas with low salinity the opposite occurred, recording the phenomenon of "salty becomes salty and sweet It gets sweeter."

Lead researcher and researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Cheng Lijing, noted that ocean warming is a “key indicator” for quantifying climate change because “more than 90% of global heat is released to the atmosphere". in the oceans".

“The oceans also determine how quickly the Earth's climate changes. To know what happened or will happen to this planet, we can look for answers in the oceans,” said the scientist quoted by the agency.

The publication also warns that high ocean temperatures "will reduce the oxygen content of seawater and its ability to absorb carbon dioxide," which will have "serious consequences" for marine life, plants and animals.

What will be the consequences of ocean warming?

Ocean warming has diverse consequences, and its impact covers a wide range of biological, climatic and environmental aspects. Some of the main consequences include:

  1. Change in weather patterns: The oceans play a crucial role in regulating the global climate. Warming oceans can alter weather patterns, causing extreme weather events such as more intense and frequent hurricanes.
  2. Rising sea levels: Ocean warming contributes to sea level rise due to thermal expansion of water and glacier melting and polar caps. This can have significant impacts on coastal communities, increasing the risk of flooding and erosion.
  3. Coral bleaching: Rising ocean temperatures can cause coral bleaching. This phenomenon occurs when corals expel the symbiotic algae that provide them with color and nutrients due to thermal stress. Prolonged bleaching can lead to coral death if conditions do not improve.
  4. Impact on marine life: Many marine species are adapted to specific temperature conditions. Ocean warming can affect the distribution and migration of species, altering marine ecosystems and affecting populations of fish and other forms of marine life.
  5. Change in ocean circulation patterns: Ocean warming can affect ocean circulation patterns, such as the Gulf Stream. This could have consequences on the redistribution of heat and nutrients, affecting ecosystems and the regional climate.
  6. Impact on fishing: The change in the distribution of marine species due to warming oceans can affect fishing. Communities that rely on fishing as a primary source of food and employment may face economic and social challenges.
  7. Ocean Acidification: The absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans is leading to the acidification of water. This can affect marine organisms that rely on calcium carbonate shells and skeletons, such as corals, mollusks, and some types of plankton.

These consequences are interconnected, and ocean warming is an integral part of global climate change. Mitigating climate change and adopting sustainable practices are essential to reduce these impacts and protect the health and biodiversity of the oceans.