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  • As oceans take on more heat, sea levels also rise.

    As oceans take on more heat, sea levels also rise. | Photo: Pixabay

Published 1 November 2018
Opinion

This would have devasting consequences if no action is taken.

The oceans have absorbed more heat from the atmosphere than previously realized, a new study says.

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Researchers have found the seas have soaked up 60 percent more of the atmosphere’s rising temperatures than had been recorded.

"The authors have a very strong track record and very solid reputation... which lends the story credibility," said Prof Sybren Drijfhout at the UK's National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

This means that ocean temperatures are also rising, showing that the Earth is far more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously known.

It indicates that keeping the world’s temperatures from heating above 1.5 degrees Celsius will be far more challenging.

This would likely mean peril for many marine ecosystems and creatures. Scientists expect even more rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and a decrease in oxygen in the oceans. "The updated estimate is indeed worrying in terms of how likely it is that society can meet 1.5 and 2-degree targets as it shifts the lower bound of climate sensitivity upward."

There are seven different species of sea turtles. | Pixabay

This spring, Marine Insight published a list of endangered ocean animals whose existence is threatened by human activity and climate change. Creatures like the Blue Whale, Hawksbill Turtle, Hammerhead Shark, Monk Seal, and Stellar Sea Lion all made the list of endangered oceanic species.

The Hawkbill Turtle, like billions of other species, relies on coral reefs for their habitat. Coral Reefs have been dying off at alarming rates. Half of the Great Barrier Reef has reportedly died since 2016. Without reefs, the ocean environment would encounter a ripple of effects leading to a broader collapse.

In order to prevent temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius, the world’s population needs to curb carbon emissions by 25 percent more than previously estimated.

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