Os oceans from planet Earth absorbed a record amount of heat last year, according to a new study, which analyzed data from 1950 to 2019. According to the information, the temperature The average of the oceans in 2019 was 0,075 ° C, above the average of 1981 to 2010.
It may seem small, but considering the sheer volume of the oceans, even a small increase would require an impressive flow of heat - the equivalent of 228 sextillion Joules, according to a study by an international team of scientists, published in the magazine Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.
Because it is a difficult number to put into context, one of the researchers did the math to put it in a frame of reference - comparing it with the amount of energy released by the atomic bomb dropped by United States in Hiroshima, JapanIn 1945.
"The Hiroshima atomic bomb exploded with an energy of about 63.000.000.000.000 Joules," said Lijing Cheng, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, author of the study. "The amount of heat we've put into the world's oceans over the past 25 years is equal to 3,6 billion Hiroshima atomic bomb explosions."
This equates to an average energy of four Hiroshima bombs entering the oceans every second for the past 25 years. And the most worrying: the rate is increasing. It is a stark change in the temperature of the oceans.
The group's research provides indisputable evidence that the planet is heating up - and quickly. From 1987 to 2019, the oceans heated up four and a half times faster than between 1955 and 1986.
When the oceans heat up, the Ice melts faster and the water expands, taking up more space and making the sea level rise. In addition, warmer oceans mean more water evaporating into the atmosphere, creating more moisture, which can overwhelm storms.
Oceans absorb 90% of all the heat that humans add to the atmosphere, making warming a more accurate way of measuring how hot the world is getting, than the temperature of the air (which also broke records in 2019). Because it is denser than air, water takes longer to heat and cool, so it provides a more stable measure of global warming.
To monitor temperature variations, scientists have more than 3.800 buoys that together make up the so-called Argo system. These buoys dot the world's oceans, sinking to a depth of two thousand meters and taking regular readings of temperature and salinity.
"This is really impacting us and it will be devastating," said John Abraham, professor of engineering specializing in thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas and co-author of the study. “But, on the other hand, it is not too late to do something about it. The longer we delay, the harder and more expensive it will be, but we can still take steps to make it less bad. ”