A recent study, which appeared in the journal Earth System Data, claims that the world’s sea surfaces temperature this month rose to an unprecedented level due to unknown causes.
By the end of 2024, scientists worry that other weather events may interact with this unexpected ocean warming to raise global temperatures to a dangerous new level.
A major El Nio event, a weather phenomenon that rapidly heats the oceans, would most likely worsen the already rapid ocean warming during the upcoming months.
Sea levels will rise as a result, along with the loss of marine life and a deterioration in the ocean’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases.
Most of the additional energy has gone into the oceans, and studies show that our globe has absorbed nearly as much heat over the last 15 years as it did over the previous 45.
Mercator Ocean International’s Karina Von Schuckmann, the lead author, asserts that “it’s not yet well established why such a rapid change and such a huge change is happening.”
“At this time, it is unclear whether the recent rise in temperature in the climate system is due to natural variability, climate change, or a combination of the two. But the modification is still present.
Notably, the 2020 criteria set by the International Maritime Organisation to lower the sulphur content of ship fuel could reduce shipping pollution, which could affect how much heat gets into the world’s oceans.
This campaign likely increased the amount of heat that reached the oceans since these aerosols can help reflect heat into space, even while quickly reducing the number of aerosol particles that ships release into the atmosphere and contaminating it.
In this climate of rapid warming, the forthcoming El Nio Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather phenomenon will likely increase temperatures even higher.
El Nio’s arrival in the following months could have catastrophic impacts on the climate, causing changes in global weather patterns, a weakening of the monsoon, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in Australia.
The onset of El Nio can have catastrophic effects on the climate after three years, during which this natural occurrence was in a colder phase known as La Nia, which helped control world temperatures.
The current level of ocean warming has unfortunate consequences even without the additional complications that this weather phenomenon will bring about, such as the extinction of species due to marine heatwaves, an increase in the intensity and duration of Hurricanes and cyclones, a rise in sea level brought on by the accelerated melting of glaciers that increases the risk of coastal flooding, and a decrease in the oceans.
According to Von Schuckmann, there is yet optimism, especially considering that temperatures would drop once the El Nio subsides. In the interim, global cooperation is required to mitigate climate change.
She concluded by saying that we still have time to take action and should do so to lessen the effects.
Reference: The Guardians, Earth.com