News / Science & Technology

Pacific Ocean Temperatures Rising Fastest in 10,000 Years

Scientists and sailors on the Indonesian research vessel, the RV Baruna Jaya VIII collect sediment cores off the coast of Indonesia. (Yair Rosenthal, Rutgers University)
Scientists and sailors on the Indonesian research vessel, the RV Baruna Jaya VIII collect sediment cores off the coast of Indonesia. (Yair Rosenthal, Rutgers University)
Rosanne Skirble
The ocean is absorbing heat 15 times faster than at any other time during the past 10,000 years, according to a new study.

Rutgers University oceanographer Yair Rosenthal and colleagues reconstructed the climate record from sediment cores from the waters of Indonesia, where the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans overlap.  

“Indonesia is essentially an archipelago of different seaways,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a nice conduit where you can essentially monitor changes without going everywhere in the Pacific."

The study finds that subsurface temperatures near the equator varied with natural warming cycles in northern and southern regions of the world.
Lead author Yair Rosenthal from Rutgers University (R) and Jim Broda from Woods Hole Ocean Institute (L) in the science laboratory of R/V Knorr during a 2009 coring expedition to the Peruvian coast. (Roy Groething)Lead author Yair Rosenthal from Rutgers University (R) and Jim Broda from Woods Hole Ocean Institute (L) in the science laboratory of R/V Knorr during a 2009 coring expedition to the Peruvian coast. (Roy Groething)

Rosenthal says the sediment cores show a relatively stable ocean that cooled by about 2 degrees Celsius until 300 years ago, when temperatures slowly started to rise.  

Big heat reservoir

That rate has accelerated over the past 60 years.

“The atmosphere has been quickly responding to what human activities are doing, and the ocean is slowly catching up, but this happens slowly and takes a long time and we are not in equilibrium,” Rosenthal said.     

A UN report released in September noted that, while global temperatures did rise each decade since the 1950s, the rate of global warming has slowed. 

Climate skeptics say this boosts their claim that emissions from power plants, motor vehicles and buildings are not the source of the problem.

Climate scientists attribute the cooling to volcanic eruptions, changes in solar intensity and the movement of heat through the ocean.  

Breaking point

While the ocean is the largest reservoir for heat-trapping gases, it is an ecological service that is unsustainable over time, Rosenthal says.​

Ocean Buffers Climate Change
Ocean Buffers Climate Change i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“I think now we basically are way beyond this buffering. Eventually, given enough time, the ocean will equilibrate," he said. "Right now, the way we are forcing climate is really fast, too fast for the ocean to essentially catch up with this warming.”

The study is published in the Science.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama,TKO
November 01, 2013 7:52 PM
Ocean tempreture is rising, and that's the cause of the climate change we have been experiencing.
What is the cause of the rise of ocean tempreture?
According to the report, the ocean respond slowly and quick increase of CO2 is not cause of the ocean tempreture rise.

We should shift our attention from global atmosphere warming to ocean warming.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid