Earth's Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Anticipated

That in turn is forcing fish to flee to cooler waters.

"Global warming is here, and has major consequences already. There is no doubt, none!" the authors wrote in a statement.

"Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought", said co-author Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

About 93 percent of excess heat - trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels - accumulates in the world's oceans.

The four studies, published between 2014 and 2017, provide better estimates of past trends in ocean heat content by correcting for discrepancies between different types of ocean temperature measurements and by better accounting for gaps in measurements over time or location.

A new analysis shows that ocean temperatures are on the rise - and they are going up faster than once thought.

The system uses nearly 4,000 drifting ocean robots that dive to a depth of 2,000 metres every few days, recording temperature and other indicators as they float back to the surface.

The world's oceans are rising in temperature faster than previously believed as they absorb most of the world's growing climate-changing emissions, scientists said Thursday.

The Science report linked the warming to more rain, increased sea levels, coral reef destruction, declining ocean oxygen levels and declines in ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps in polar environments.

"While 2018 will be the fourth warmest year on record on the surface, it will most certainly be the warmest year on record in the oceans, as was 2017 and 2016 before that", Hausfather said.

"The global warming signal is a lot easier to detect if it is changing in the oceans than on the surface".

Assuming a "business-as-usual" scenario in which no effort has been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of the world's oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The 2013 United Nations. assessment estimated slower rates of heat uptake but did not give a single comparable number.

For now, however, climate-changing emissions continue to rise, and 'I don´t think enough is being done to tackle the rising temperatures, ' Cheng said. It can take more than 1,000 years for deep ocean temperatures to adjust to changes at the surface.

"The fairly steady rise in OHC [ocean heat content] shows that the planet is clearly warming", the report stated, adding that rising sea levels and temperatures should be concerning, "given the abundant evidence of effects on storms, hurricanes and the hydrological cycle, including extreme precipitation events".