New Report: ‘Blowtorch’-
Like Ocean Warming
Advances Killer Seas, Shifts
El Nino, Heats Hydrates
Sea-surface temperature, ocean heat content, sea-level rise, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations are increasing at an accelerating rate with significant consequences for humanity and the marine species and ecosystems of the ocean.
There is likely to be an increase in mean global ocean temperature of 1-4 degrees C by 2100. The greatest ocean warming overall is occurring in the Southern Hemisphere and is contributing to the subsurface melting of Antarctic ice shelves. Since the 1990s the atmosphere in the polar regions has been warming at about twice the average rate of global warming.
There is likely to be Arctic warming and ice loss, and possibly the essential removal, in some years, of the summer Arctic sea ice within the next few decades.
Over the last 20 years there has been an intensification and distinct change in the El Niño events, with a shift of the mean location of sea-surface temperature anomalies towards the central Pacific.
Currently 2.5 Gt of frozen methane hydrate are stored in the sea floor at water depths of 200 to 2000 m. Increasing water temperature could release this source of carbon into the ocean and ultimately into the atmosphere.