Global ocean heat from 1955 to 2008. Blue line is yearly ocean heat content for the 0–700 m layer (Levitus 2008). Red line is the global mean stratospheric optical depth, indicating the timing of major volcanic eruptions (NASA GISS, data ends in 1999).

Reporting by Daniel Fineren
Thu May 20, 2010 4:31am EDT

(Reuters) - The top layer of the world's ocean has warmed steadily since 1993, a strong sign of global warming and a key driver of sea level rise, according to a study by an international team of scientists.

"The ocean is the biggest reservoir for heat in the climate system, so as the planet warms, we're finding that 80 to 90 percent of the increased heat ends up in the ocean," said Josh Willis, an oceanographer at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Scientists from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Britain's Met Office, the University of Hamburg in Germany and the Meteorological Research Institute in Japan analyzed different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean from 1993 to 2008 to assess the size and certainty of growing heat storage in the ocean.

They estimated that the heat content of the ocean has increased over the last 16 years and the energy stored is now enough to light nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs for every person on the planet.

Warmer oceans cause sea levels to rise as seawater expands as it heats up, accounting for about one-third to one-half of global sea level rise, scientists say.

World's water steadily warming up


  1. Alex Smith said...

    Hi Jim

    You and Dedemoneans would probably "enjoy" Radio Ecoshock - where you can listen to end of the world radio.

    Alex Smith  


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