Reports that the oceans’ temperatures are rising at a much higher rate than previously thought appear to have been proven after new research has shown that the planet’s waters witnessed a .33-degree Celsius rise as compared to readings conducted in the 1870s. Scripps Institution of Oceanography physical oceanographer, Dean Roemmich, conducted the research and said that the rise in temperature was witnessed in the oceans’ upper portions to a 700-meter depth.
The surface of oceans seems to have been the most impacted with a .59-degree Celsius increase. The numbers dropped to .22 degrees at 900 meters of depth. This is the first time that such a comprehensive comparison has been made ever since the HMS Challenger undertook its voyage from 1872-76 to find out temperature rise. With modern ocean probing robots, it’s becoming easier to calculate temperature change through the global Argo program.
The trend of temperature rise was noted by scientists who had earlier reported that close to 90 percent of heat added to the climate system was trapped in oceans since the 1960s. But Roemmich’s research goes back further than that to the 1870s showing that the rise in temperature doesn’t apply to just 50 years ago but at least a century back.
The HMS Challenger’s data, despite covering only 300 temperature soundings from across the globe, set a baseline for modern readings and temperature changes around the world. Now, nearly 3,500 Argo floats collect temperature profiles every 10 days.
Roemmich’s findings prove that the earth has been getting hotter for at least 100 years and will give other researchers the mechanism to better understand the earth’s climate. And, using Argo’s data set, future findings will prove to be more accurate. As it is, the Argo project collects over 100,000 temperature-salinity profiles of the earth’s oceans every year. Since its launch in 2000, the program has led to about 1,000 research papers being published.