Source: CGTN news article (17th Jan. 2021) – Despite reductions in global carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the world’s oceans in 2020 were the warmest in recorded history, according to a new study just published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. This study was conducted by 20 scientists from 13 institutes in China, the United States and Italy.
Compared with 2019, the upper 2,000 meters (6561 ft) of the Earth’s oceans have absorbed a greater amount of heat, enough to boil 1.3 billion kettles, each containing 1.5 liters of water. The increase in heat within the oceans is responsible for the increasing trend of record-breaking global ocean temperatures, said the study.
Cheng Lijing, lead author of the study and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that ocean heating is a key indicator for quantifying climate change, since more than 90 % of global heat ends up in the oceans.
“However, due to the ocean’s delayed response to global warming, the trend of ocean warming will persist for decades at least,” said Cheng, explaining that the world’s ocean temperatures kept rising last year, despite reports that global carbon emissions fell as people stayed indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The study also found that over the last 80 years, the world’s oceans have been warmer in each decade than in the previous one. The effects of ocean warming results in more frequent and stronger typhoons, hurricanes and extreme rainfall events.
Cheng called for more global research efforts on the subject of ocean warming. “Any activities or agreements to address global warming must be coupled with the understanding that the oceans have already absorbed an immense amount of heat and will continue to absorb excess energy in the Earth’s system.“
So if you are considering purchasing that dream coastal property to retire to (whether it be beach-front or cliff top) – this research should give you pause to at least consider the likelihood of more frequent extreme weather events coupled with continuing sea-level rise. Think about how these climate change factors will inevitably impact upon your future insurability and value of that intended dream property.