From the top of the waves to the bottom of the briny deep two new studies shed light on the issue of the warming of the oceans.
The oceans absorb the overwhelming majority of heat produced by man. They also absorb carbon dioxide as do plants. The two new studies share interesting new data on the processes and effects.
In the journal Nature Climate Change, they estimate the rate of the upper levels of the ocean depths between the years 1970 and 2004. Lead author of the of the study, Paul Durack, an oceanographer stated the importance of the data gathering and results. He emphasized that there’s been an underestimation of the problem due to poor sampling that took place before as well as limitation of the methods used to analyze such that conservatively estimated temperature changes in what he says a data sparse regions.
His team used climate model simulations and satellite data and the results he says suggest that the warming of the oceans has been underestimated by a whopping 24%-58%. This data does indeed match previous data but this is the first time researchers have attempted to estimate how much heat was missed.
For the first 2,300 feet of the oceans the researchers used temperature measurements and satellite measurements of sea level as well as computer models to find the rate of the sea level rising. They then compared the rise measured by the satellites covering each hemisphere.
In the second of the studies conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they poured over data gleaned from satellites as well as direct ocean temperature data from the years 2005 to 2013 and discovered that ocean depths deeper than 1.24 miles did not warm. William Llovel the lead author of the JPL study stated that the deeper parts of the ocean were harder to measure and that the combination of research tools shows only a glimpse of how much deep warming is in relation to sea level rise.
They also discovered that the growing warming of the oceans were responsible for at least 1/3 of Earth’s 2.8 millimeters of annual sea level rising. They figure floating probes are the only resort to to get more accurate data from deeper waters. These probe are called Deep Argo which will reach depths of 19,700 feet.