A surprising new study sheds new light on how much energy is put into the oceans of the Earth in the last 150 years — the equivalent of an atomic bomb explosion every second for 150 years.
The study, published by researchers from the University of Oxford, shows that 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases since 1871, was held by the oceans of the Earth, a revelation that has been described as “worrisome”, with potentially large consequences for the climate.
“The majority of the excess energy stored in the climate system as a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the oceans, leading to thermal expansion and sea-level rise,” the study abstract reads. “The oceans have an important role in the Earth’s energy imbalance. Observational constraints on future anthropogenic warming of the earth is critically dependent on accurate estimates of the past ocean heat content (OHC) change.”
ANCIENT ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET COLLAPSE WOULD CAUSE A GLOBAL FLOOD
Laure Zanna, who is the principal investigator of the study, it was found that the amount of energy that is locked up 436 ×10^21 joules. The Guardian calculated (independently verified by Fox News), this is the equivalent of 1.5 Hiroshima bombs per second.
“I try not to do this kind of calculation, simply because I find it worrisome,” Zanna told the news outlet, but it is clear that “we put a lot of excess energy in the climate system and a lot of that ends up in the ocean. There is no doubt.”
In other words, the amount of energy that is absorbed by the oceans is the equivalent of 1,000 times the entire world’s population each year, Zanna told Weather.com.
In a statement by the research of Oxford University professor Samar Khatiwala, who also worked on the study, said the team of the approach of the painting.
“Our approach is akin to the ‘painting’ of various bits of the sea surface with dyes of different colors and monitoring how they are spread out in the interior the course of time,” Khatiwala said in the release.
THESE WATER MOLECULES HAVE BEEN SITTING UNTOUCHED IN THE DEEP OCEAN FOR 700 YEARS
Khatiwala continued: “If we know what the sea surface temperature anomaly was in 1870 in the North Atlantic Ocean, we can find out how much it contributes to the warming of the earth in, say, the deep Indian Ocean in 2018. The idea goes back almost 200 years after the English mathematician George Green.”
Within the last 60 years, the researchers noted that the changes in the ocean circulation, and responsible for half of the warming of the earth, and the sea level rise seen in the Atlantic Ocean.
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The change in ocean circulation is not pinned solely on man-made causes, and the researchers said that further research is needed to pinpoint the cause of.
However, Zanna pointed to the technique given is “only applicable to tracers such as man-made carbon that are passively transported by the circulation in the oceans.”
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