Like the rest of the Earth’s surface, the ocean’s temperature is also increasing due to the continued emission of greenhouse gases. As a result, climate records fluctuate on top of one another, it seems.
When sea ice around Antarctica reached a low point not so long ago, now it’s the turn of the global ocean: the water surface hasn’t been warmer since it was measured.
Sea surface temperatures usually reach their highest levels in the second half of March. This is the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and there is simply more sea out there. Remarkably, the sea surface temperature is still rising in April. On average, the surface temperature of the ocean is now 21.1 degrees.
Rising ocean temperatures can affect the weather here, says Maurice Middendorp, RTL News weather forecaster. “Our weather often comes from the West. For example, many depressions cross the Atlantic Ocean before they reach us. Warmer seawater can cause more evaporation and therefore more precipitation when low pressure areas reach us.”
Here you can see how far sea surface temperature deviated from the long-term average over the period 1991-2020:
The previous record dates back to the beginning of March 2016. It is no coincidence that this year was a year with a strong El Niño, as the relatively strong warming of sea waters in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean is called. during El Nino Much of the heat comes from the deep parts of the Pacific Ocean to the surface.
But we’re just beginning to emerge from La Niña years, the cold counterpart to El Niño. It’s not really a time when you can expect a heat record.
We are now slowly moving towards El Niño, Expect weather services. Climate scientist Gavin Schmidt explains that the picture with sea water temperatures shows an early start to this Washington Post. This is particularly indicated by the relatively warm sea waters off the western coast of South America.
If an El Niño event does indeed happen later this year, not only will it be noticeable in sea surface temperatures, but it will also get much warmer. Schmidt and his fellow scientists say there’s a good chance that 2024 will be a record warm year.
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