Global Warming Heats Oceans At Rate Of One Atomic Bomb Exploding Every Second

The oceans are the world's largest sink for carbon, which means that they absorb most of the warming humans cause.

Global warming has heated the oceans by the equivalent of one atomic bomb explosion per second for the past 150 years, according to analysis of new research.

More than 90% of the heat trapped by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions has been absorbed by the seas, with just a few per cent heating the air, land and ice caps respectively. The vast amount of energy being added to the oceans drives sea-level rise and enables hurricanes and typhoons to become more intense.

Much of the heat has been stored in the ocean depths but measurements here only began in recent decades and existing estimates of the total heat the oceans have absorbed stretch back only to about 1950. The new work extends that back to 1871. Scientists have said that understanding past changes in ocean heat was critical for predicting the future impact of climate change.

A Guardian calculation found the average heating across that 150-year period was equivalent to about 1.5 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs per second.

Read Full Story: The Guardian/Damian Carrington

Photo: Aziz Acharki/Unsplash

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

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