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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid