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

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora