Study: Deep Ocean Waters Trapping Vast Store of Heat

Source: Climate Central

A new generation of scientific instruments has begun scouring ocean depths for temperature data, and the evidence being pinged back via satellite warns that the consequences of fossil fuel burning and deforestation are accumulating far below the planet’s surface.

More than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas pollution since the 1970s has wound up in the oceans, and research published Monday revealed that a little more than a third of that seafaring heat has worked its way down to depths greater than 2,300 feet (700 meters).

Plunged to ocean depths by winds and currents, that trapped heat has eluded surface temperature measurements, fueling claims of a “hiatus” or “pause” in global warming from 1998 to 2013. But by expanding cool water, the deep-sea heat’s impacts have been indirectly visible in coastal regions by pushing up sea levels, contributing to worsening high-tide flooding.

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