Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Record High Ocean Temperature

Because I live near Chicago, and we are having one of the most comfortable, meaning coolest, summers on record, I do hear a number of people mentioning that 'global warming' is indeed not real. However, we need to remember that a key concept is carried by the word 'global' and that local weather can be entirely misrepresentative of warming. This is why 'global climate change' is a more accurate phrase, with climate replacing warming, that captures the essence of what the vast majority of scientists who study climate are worried about. Some areas of the world are expected to continue warming, however there are some areas that are actually expected to cool.

But key components of the global climate system are the oceans. Ocean currents help transfer energy, in the form of heat, around the world and help drive climate. The news continues to be a source of concern to scientists, as a new record high temperature was recorded this past year for the world's ocean temperatures. The largest increases have happened in the Arctic Ocean, which is why ice sheets continue to melt at high rates. The moral of the story is to not let local weather fool us into thinking we are suddenly in the clear.

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