Advanced Search

Record-setting ocean warmth continued in 2019

A new analysis shows the world's oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history, especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 meters. The study, conducted by an international team of 14 scientists from 11 institutes across the world, also concludes that the past ten years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record.

The authors published their results on Jan. 13 in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, with a call to action for humans to reverse climate change. In the face of such disastrous effects as the 17.9 million acres Australian bushfire, which has resulted in 24 deaths and thousands of homes destroyed so far, the researchers report that global ocean temperature is not only increasing, but it's speeding up.

According to the study, the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 Sextillion) Joules of heat.