Study confirms steady warming of oceans for past 75 years

Posted on 5 January 2017

Scientists, including our chemists, have solved a puzzling break in continuity of ocean warming records that sparked much controversy after climate data was published in the journal Science in 2015.

Ocean buoys now used to measure water temperatures tend to report slightly cooler temperatures than older ship-based systems.

The latest research from the Universities of York, UK, and California, Berkeley, US, confirms that the conclusions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) research paper, which sparked wide debate following the suggestion that there was no detectable slowdown in ocean warming, were in fact accurate.  

The 2015 analysis by NOAA scientists showed that ocean buoys now used to measure water temperatures tend to report slightly cooler temperatures than older ship-based systems. As buoy measurements have replaced ship measurements, this had hidden some of the real-world warming. 

Scientists corrected this ‘cold bias’ and concluded that oceans have actually warmed 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade since 1997, nearly twice as fast as earlier estimates of 0.07 degrees Celsius per decade. This brought the rate of ocean temperature rise in line with estimates for the previous 50 years, between 1950 and 1999.

Read the full story here.