Ocean Temps Spiking, Even Before El Nino

April 6, 2023

Just sayin’.

New Scientist:

Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms may be more powerful than usual this year thanks to a record-breaking spike in global ocean temperatures.

The global average sea surface temperature hit a record high of 21.1°C on 1 April, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US and compiled by the University of Maine.

This beats the previous record of 21°C set in March 2016, and is more than 0.5°C warmer than is typical for this time of year, according to the 30-year average.

“The sea surface temperatures that we are seeing right now are really far outside of what we would normally see,” says John Abraham at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota. “It is really a remarkable record-breaking that we are seeing at this moment.”

The temperature spike is a sign of the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans, which for decades have absorbed the bulk of the excess heat caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Research shows the oceans are now heating faster than at any point in the past 2000 years.

For the past three years, the world’s climate has been in a La Niña phase, which has a short-term cooling effect on water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. NOAA declared that the La Niña phase ended on 9 March, which may be another reason for the spike, says David DeWitt at NOAA.


One Response to “Ocean Temps Spiking, Even Before El Nino”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I’m wondering if the cooler blue of the Mozambique Channel is because the long-lived cyclone Freddy sucked all of the heat out of that water.

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