World's ocean temperature the warmest ever recorded

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Chris, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    By SETH BORENSTEIN (AP) – 34 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON — The world's oceans this summer are the warmest on record.

    The National Climatic Data Center, the government agency that keeps weather records, says the average global ocean temperature in July was 62.6 degrees. That's the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880. The previous record was set in 1998.

    Meteorologists blame a combination of a natural El Nino weather pattern on top of worsening manmade global warming. The warmer water could add to the melting of sea ice and possibly strengthen some hurricanes.

    The result has meant lots of swimming at beaches in Maine with pleasant 72-degree water. Ocean temperatures reached 88 degrees as far north as Ocean City, Md., this week.

    The Gulf of Mexico, where warm water fuels hurricanes, has temperatures dancing around 90. Most of the water in the Northern Hemisphere has been considerably warmer than normal. The Mediterranean is about three degrees warmer than normal. Higher temperatures rule in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

    It's most noticeable near the Arctic, where water temperatures are as much as 10 degrees above average.

    Breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land. That's because water takes longer to heat up and doesn't cool off as easily, said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

    The Associated Press: In hot water: World's ocean temps warmest recorded
     
  2. Jay Canuck
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    Jay Canuck by Crom you'll pay!

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    I am going to buy that pair of water-wings and learn to swim!
     
  3. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    This is what happened just before the Cylons attacked.
     
  4. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    And this is the same jackass who continually asks why seaborne polar ice is melting??

    Priceless!! :rofl:
     
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    PLYMCO_PILGRIM Gold Member

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    I have some money invested in a few desalinization providers, you guys should look into it in Cali ;)
     
  6. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Yawn.
     
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  7. Smartt33
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    I haven't done the research, though I may start. However, I have a few questions. Is it possible that the ocean temperatures may actually be contributing to the warming of the globe? From the beginning of the records, just how quickly has the water temp been going up? Has it gone up and down? Is there an identifialbel time when it has been rising faster than average?

    I think these are valid questions.
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Absolutely valid questions. Here is a NOAA site with links that you can follow for research on those questions.

    NOAA Paleoclimatology Global Warming - The Data

    A short answer is that the ocean temperature is far more revelant than atmospheric temperature in the long run. The ocean holds far more heat by volume than does the atmosphere. In terms of energy, a one degree rise in ocean temperature represents the energy content of a several degree rise in atmosphere.

    The ocean varies in temperature at the surface in several cycles, the best known of which is the La Nina, El Nino cycle. The important thing here is that the temperature of each of these cycles has been rising. Not only are the El Ninos warmer, but also the La Ninas as well.


    As the surface of the Earth is 3/4 water, the interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere means that nothing can happen to one without it happening to the other. By adding GHGs to the atmosphere, we have created a warming atmosphere, which also warms the ocean. The sunlight we receive, the Total Solar Irridiance, has remained essentially the same for the last 50 years, with an insignificant decline. That, of course, is within the normal solar cycles. What the GHGs do is retain the heat that is normally reflected back to space by ground, water, and ice. So you get a warmer atmosphere with the same TSI. Which, of course, warms the ocean.
     
  9. JohnStOnge
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    Smart, I think that things are not nearly as straightforward as OldRocks suggests. Check out these two articles on solar irradiation, for example:

    NASA - Top Story - NASA STUDY FINDS INCREASING SOLAR TREND THAT CAN CHANGE CLIMATE - March 20, 2003

    Trends in solar spectral irradiance variability in the visible and infrared

    Many people believe that it's all "figured out" and that there is enough of an understanding of cause and effect relationships to speak in confident terms such as OldRocks wrote in. But it's not the case. Even the IPCC concedes that the kinds of controlled experiments that would be necessarily to unequivocally infer the existence of cause and effect relationships with respect to climate change cannot be conducted.

    When you see people say this is happening and that is happening as though such things have been firmly established as fact, what you are really seeing is educated opinion.

    Of course I'm not talking about the stuff on a given volume of water at a given temperature holding more heat energy than the same volume of air at a given temperature. That can be experimentally demonstrated. I also think that the bias associated with an estimate of the mean temperature of a volume of water under circumstances where you don't have a legitimate probability sample on which to base the estimate is likely to be smaller than the bias associated with an estimate of the mean temperature of a volume of air under those circumstances. That's important because the estimates of both mean air and water temperatures you see reported do not involve legitimate probability samples.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Your first site is a bit out of date, like six years. Here are the present figures;

    Current Projects

    Your second site is a good one. I may purchase this article, the price is reasonable, and it looks quite interesting. Thank You.
     

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