The oceans have reached their highest recorded temperature – a consequence of climate change, signaling alarming consequences for the planet and climate.
This week, the EU’s Copernicus climate change service reported that the global daily average sea surface temperature exceeded a 2016 record, attaining 20.96C (69.73F) – a significant deviation from the typical average for this period.
Oceans play a critical role in regulating climate, absorbing heat, generating half of Earth’s oxygen, and determining weather patterns. As ocean temperatures rise, their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide diminishes, resulting in more CO2 remaining in the atmosphere. This increased warmth can accelerate glacier melting, subsequently elevating sea levels. Elevated oceanic temperatures adversely affect marine species like fish and whales, compelling them to migrate towards cooler waters and disrupting the food chain. Consequently, fish stocks might decline. Additionally, some predators, such as sharks, can exhibit heightened aggression in warmer waters.