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Copernicus: Ocean temperatures hit a record high in February.

Today is Thursday, March 21 2024.

EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service released its February Climate Bulletin a few day ago.

Once again, worrying news.

Covering 70% of the planet, ocean average surface temperature reached 21.06°C (69.91°F), surpassing the previous record of 20.98°C (69.77°F) set last August.

Daily sea surface temperature (°C). Data source ERA5. Credit Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.
Daily sea surface temperature (°C). Data source ERA5. Credit Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.

As reported May last year, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was already indicating the probability of the highest ocean temperature in more than 100,000 years.

The ocean absorbs about 90% of the extra heat in the climate system resulting from global warming. But because it takes more energy to heat water than air, the surface water temperature is rising more slowly than the surface air temperature is.

Water is an enormously efficient heat-sink. Solar heat absorbed by bodies of water during the day is released at night. Or in the summer, then released in winter.

Both high ocean and air temperatures could set the stage for even more severe hurricanes and in new areas.

Not to mention the impact on the sea levels, the ocean chemistry, the marine biodiversity and fishing habits of millions of earthlings.

The bulletin also indicates that:

  • Boreal winter 2023/2024 (Dec-Jan-Feb) was the warmest globally at 0.78°C above the 1991-2020 average.

  • European winter temperature was the second warmest on record, after the winter of 2019/2020, at 1.44°C above the 1991-2020 average.

Click at the image below for that Copernicus Climate Bulletin.

Here our posts about water and about the oceans.

Oceans are a vital climate regulator.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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