We have some bad global warming news: the world's oceans are rapidly heating up. The planet's temperatures, therefore, aren't where we want it to be.
Climate scientists measure global warming by checking the temperature of the world's oceans. Monitoring the changes in global temperature is important in helping us prepare for what the world might be like in the future. It can also help track the progress of climate change and global warming.
The world's oceans are instrumental in keeping the planet from getting too warm. If it weren't for our oceans, global temperatures would have risen a whopping 36ºC in the past century instead of just 1ºC. The oceans are the planet's largest carbon sink and have absorbed up to 90% of the heat that humans have generated.
An international team of scientists has analyzed the state of our world's oceans by looking at three different data sets by three different groups. By doing so, the researchers were able to get a more accurate view into the temperature of the oceans.
The data sets weren't all the same. The three groups made different decisions about mapping and had different temperature sensors. Thus, the researchers were able to find how warming in each ocean differed. In spite of these differences, though, the researchers were able to find an important discovery.
Each of the data sets contained information on different oceans, and thus presented different numbers. However, a very clear trend emerged among all the data: that the oceans are warming at an alarmingly fast rate. Worse still, this rate is accelerating. This is the conclusion that the researchers came up with after reviewing the data. It didn't matter where and when researchers took their measurements. It didn't matter how they took measurements, or who did the measuring. The trend was clear.
What makes the Earth warm up? There are a lot of factors, but human activity has a lot to do with the rapid rise of global temperatures. We keep releasing gases that trap heat into our atmosphere, thus enabling our planet to rapidly heat up. As a result, our oceans get warmer and warmer. Unfortunately, warmer oceans don't make very good carbon sinks. Thus, as the oceans get warmer, they'll be less able to absorb the heat we produce.
This study makes it clear that though there are some differences and discrepancies in global warming data, what's important is that the planet is warming up. These differences and discrepancies are technicalities that are significant in certain ways, but they all point to one conclusion.
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