Ocean waters in the Northern Hemisphere have been unusually warm in recent weeks, with parts of the North Atlantic and northern Pacific undergoing particularly intense marine heat waves.
Sea surface temperatures in these regions hit record levels this summer, said Dillon Amaya, a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Physical Sciences Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. Parts of the Pacific and North Atlantic have been anywhere from 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) to 5 degrees C (9 degrees F) warmer than average at times, conditions that have not been observed since record keeping began roughly six decades ago.
Oceans naturally absorb and store heat, making these reservoirs good indicators of how much the planet is warming. Studies have found that oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the heat trapped on Earth from greenhouse gas emissions since 1970.NBC An intense marine heat wave is setting ocean temperature records in the North Atlantic