Imagine setting off a Hiroshima-style bomb every second of the day, for 75 years.
The 150 zettajoules of human-generated heat those bombs would have released—about 300 times annual global energy consumption—would be the equivalent of the warming the world’s oceans absorbed between 1997 and 2015, according to a paper published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.
- Concise headlines. Original content. Timely news and views from a select group of opinion leaders. Special extras.
- Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
- The Weekender: The climate news you need.
It took more than a century—from 1865 to 1997—for oceans to absorb the previous 150 zettajoules.
“The changes we’re talking about, they are really, really big numbers,” said Lawrence Livermore Laboratory oceanographer and study co-author Paul Durack. “They are non-human numbers,” and the biggest concern is the pace at which the figures for heat absorption are growing.
“After 2000, in particular, the rate of change is really starting to ramp up,” he told the Post.
“These finding have potentially serious consequences for life in the oceans, as well as for patterns of ocean circulation, storm tracks, and storm intensity,” said Oregon State marine scientist Jane Lubchenco, former administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Leave a Reply