Jun 7, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Record hot oceans continue as weather extremes escalate

Data: NOAA; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Extreme weather and climate events across the globe continue to unfold simultaneously, breaking longstanding records from Siberia and China to Antarctica.

The big picture: Global sea surface temperatures have been at record to near-record levels since mid-March.

Between the lines: Notably, the record heat has been occurring ahead of the declaration of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

  • These naturally occurring events will most likely boost global ocean temperatures even further.

The bottom line: It's become cliche for climate stories to say that we're in uncharted territory; but in this situation, it bears repeating.

  • We've never gone into an expected El Niño event with the oceans already so warm, making them prone to marine heat waves with their associated coral bleaching.
  • The unusual warmth is already contributing to heat waves on land before the hottest months of July and August, and will help fuel more intense tropical cyclones and precipitation extremes in the weeks and months ahead.

The bottom line: Expect more significant extreme events, many of them without modern precedent, to occur both at sea and on land during the coming year. (WaPo has more)

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