The Earth’s atmosphere is not the only thing that has been warming up lately. The ocean waters as well, and at a frighteningly fast pace at that.

A recent study found in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that 90% of the excess heat caused by the emission of greenhouse gases are being transferred to the world’s ocean waters. The findings suggest that the previously declared heat absorption rate released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is far too low in real case of the situation.

Water Temperature Rise Faster than Previously Claimed

The increased heat absorption of the world’s oceans results in higher sea level rise as high temperatures cause waters to expand. Add up the factors brought about by the melting ice caps of the North and South Poles and you will end up with an increased rate in global sea level rise.

Four other independent studies are compiled to ultimately provide a clear data on the rate at which ocean water temperatures are rising. The report, which was released in the journal Science, concluded that the world oceans are heating up 40% quicker than the previous approximation of the IPCC. Since 1871 until 2019, the excess heat from the atmosphere that has been transferred into the sea waters is now equivalent to 1000 times the annual energy usage of the entire world. The Guardian, a British news publication, has said it is the same as having the oceans bombed by atomic weaponry every second for the last 150 years.

The Effects of Higher Ocean Water Temperature

Grave ramifications are correlated with warmer sea waters. Coastal communities could be put at risk – posing a threat to ocean food sources, increasing the prevalence of diseases, and causing more extreme weather occurrence that could result in damage of coastal infrastructures.  

Higher level of sea water temperatures could also affect both polar and marine creatures as the environment could be made uninhabitable. Additionally, warm waters end up causing coral bleaching, which means the loss of breeding grounds for marine creatures.