Earth’s Oceans stored an unprecedented amount of heat in 2020

In the year 2020, record-breaking amounts of heat was absorbed by seas, with scientists estimating that the heat absorbed last year may have been enough to 1.3 billion kettles of water.


The various coronavirus lockdowns around the world may have slowed global warming and reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere, but the world still experienced wide scale warming.

Water temperature measurements show that 2020 has the highest heat amount on record


Scientists say that water temperature measurements from around the globe indicate that the total amount of heat stored in the upper oceans in 2020 is higher than any other year on record. Their water temperature records date back as far as 1995.


Tracking rising water temperatures is important, as it allows scientists to measure the effect of warmer water on the melting of ice on the edges of Greenland and Antarctica, which then assists them in estimating the rate at which sea levels might rise. It also assists scientists in estimating the amount of supercharged tropical storms that might happen in a year.

Researchers found that upper ocean waters contained 234 sextillion amounts of heat

Using data from moored sensors, drifting probes called Argo floats, underwater robots, and other instruments, researchers found out that upper ocean waters contained 234 sextillion, or 1021 joules more heat energy in 2020 than the annual average from 1981 to 2010.


The data found suggests that heat storage was up about 20 sextillion joules from 2019. The three other warmest years on record for the world’s oceans were 2017, 2018 and 2019.


“What we’re seeing here is a variant on the movie Groundhog Day,” says the study co-author Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State. “Groundhog Day has a happy ending. This won’t if we don’t act now to dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” he added. 


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