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🔥🐸💦🔥 Rising Global Sea Surface Temperatures: Consequences, Causes, and the Faustian Bargain [Science Sunday][May 2024]

🔥🐸💦🔥 Rising Global Sea Surface Temperatures: Consequences, Causes, and the Faustian Bargain [Science Sunday][May 2024]

Myth’s Note: At first, it was supposed to be a quick joke image; months later down the research rabbit hole, and especially with recent updates, this article has become a bit of an unwieldy monster at nearly nine thousand words. This may take multiple reading sessions to get through. However, in an attempt to help readers keep track and pace themselves, I’ve organized this piece into the following sections:

I. The Watched Pot

II. A Quick Dip into SST Measurement History

III. The Consequences: Thermal Expansion, Ocean Currents, Atmospheric Energy, Habitat Destruction and Marine Heatwaves.

IV. The Causes: Anthropogenic GHG Emissions, El Niño, Aerosols and the Faustian Bargain

If you were inspired by this article to write and publish your own, then I would sincerely appreciate citation. Additionally, and if I’ve set this up correctly, there should be a text-to-speech audio version in the Substack app if you’d prefer to listen.

As always, we’ll start with a meme – and so, without further ado, please enjoy!

I. The Watched Pot

I want you all to imagine, if only for a moment, that you are a far off visitor approaching Earth. Perhaps you’ve managed to catch a ride upon the latest ship passing through the night – the first detected interstellar traveler to pass through our little solar system, ‘Oumuamua (a messenger from afar arriving first).

As you pass us by here on Spaceship Earth, you will definitely notice something rather peculiar about our pale blue dot – it’s a planet rich with water (liquid and frozen), covered by swirling clouds (mostly water vapor) above a few landmasses…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hottest ocean temperatures in history recorded last year

Ocean heating driven by human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, in sixth consecutive year record has been broken

An oil platform stands offshore as cargo shipping container ships wait in the Pacific Ocean to enter the port of Los Angeles.
An oil platform stands offshore as cargo shipping container ships wait in the Pacific Ocean to enter the port of Los Angeles. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

The world’s oceans have been set to simmer, and the heat is being cranked up. Last year saw the hottest ocean temperatures in recorded history, the sixth consecutive year that this record has been broken, according to new research.

The heating up of our oceans is being primarily driven by the human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, and represents a starkly simple indicator of global heating. While the atmosphere’s temperature is also trending sharply upwards, individual years are less likely to be record-breakers compared with the warming of the oceans.

A firefighter sprays water as a house burns in the Dixie fire in the Indian Falls area of Plumas County, California.
Climate crisis: last seven years the hottest on record, 2021 data shows
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Last year saw a heat record for the top 2,000 meters of all oceans around the world, despite an ongoing La Niña event, a periodic climatic feature that cools waters in the Pacific. The 2021 record tops a stretch of modern record-keeping that goes back to 1955. The second hottest year for oceans was 2020, while the third hottest was 2019.

“The ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing, globally, and this is a primary indicator of human-induced climate change,” said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and co-author of the research, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

Warmer ocean waters are helping supercharge storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall, the paper states, which is escalating the risks of severe flooding. Heated ocean water expands and eats away at the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which are collectively shedding around 1tn tons of ice a year, with both of these processes fueling sea level rise.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth’s Excess Heat?

How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth’s Excess Heat?

The main reason soaring greenhouse gas emissions have not caused air temperatures to rise more rapidly is that oceans have soaked up much of the heat. But new evidence suggests the oceans’ heat-buffering ability may be weakening.

For decades, the earth’s oceans have soaked up more than nine-tenths of the atmosphere’s excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. By stowing that extra energy in their depths, oceans have spared the planet from feeling the full effects of humanity’s carbon overindulgence.

But as those gases build in the air, an energy overload is rising below the waves. A raft of recent research finds that the ocean has been heating faster and deeper than scientists had previously thought. And there are new signs that the oceans might be starting to release some of that pent-up thermal energy, which could contribute to significant global temperature increases in the coming years.

The ocean has been heating at a rate of around 0.5 to 1 watt of energy per square meter over the past decade, amassing more than 2 X 1023 joules of energy — the equivalent of roughly five Hiroshima bombs exploding every second — since 1990. Vast and slow to change temperature, the oceans have a huge capacity to sequester heat, especially the deep ocean, which is playing an increasingly large uptake and storage role. 

That is a major reason the planet’s surface temperatures have risen less than expected in the past dozen or so years, given the large greenhouse gas hike during the same period, said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist with theNational Center for Atmospheric Research. The phenomenon, which some call the “hiatus,” has challenged scientists to explain its cause. But new studies indicate that the forces behind the supposed hiatus are natural — and temporary — ocean processes that may already be changing course.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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