Record-breaking ocean temperatures are alarming

According to statistics published by the US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency (NOAA) at the end of February, the surface of the world's oceans has never been so warm: the average temperature was 21.13 ° C, surpassing the previous record of August 2023. Ocean warming is bad news because it accelerates ice melt, sea level rise, and severely affects marine fauna and flora.

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This event is called when a “Thermal Anomaly “, the problem continues. From spring 2023The average surface temperature of the world's oceans has entered uncharted territory, higher than previously observed, with even an absolute record of 21.13°C on February 27.

The reasons are many. The first is global warming, which is superimposed on the El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific. But still The Atlantic Ocean is also unusually warmDue to somewhat weaker winds and cooler water from the depths developing less than usual.

A warming ocean is an ocean where the melting of polar ice accelerates, and warm water takes up more space than cold water, all of which contribute to rising water levels. With this increase in temperature, water also evaporates more strongly, therefore leading to more moisture-rich clouds, which in turn lead to more intense rainfall.

This phenomenon is not without consequences for marine fauna and flora. Coral bleaching is the best example, but all marine life is affected, from fish to birds.


The US agency NOAA has released a map showing points in the oceans that are subject to “thermal anomalies”. © NOAA

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