Seas are absorbing way more heat than we previously thought
We're totally past the point of no return.
'MURICA — The world's oceans have absorbed considerably more heat than previously estimated, according to a new study.
The results, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, found that seas around the globe may be absorbing up to 60 percent more heat since the 1990s than earlier estimates calculated, according to Scientific American.
Researchers calculated the oceans have absorbed around 13 zettajoules of heat energy every year between 1991 and 2016, CNN reports.
The findings suggest the earth is more sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.
Rather than relying on direct ocean measurements, the researchers looked at the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since 1991.
As oceans warm up, their ability to absorb oxygen and carbon dioxide decreases, thus more of those gases remain in the air.
By measuring the changes in atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, while also controlling for other factors such as human greenhouse gas emissions, the team was able to estimate how much heat the oceans have absorbed over the past few decades.
Warmer oceans could potentially lead to sea levels rising faster than forecasted, dying off of coral reefs, increasingly powerful storms, faster rates of melting sea ice and affecting ocean currents, CNN reports.
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