Climate Risk Areas Initiative News

The Ocean is Warming Even at Abyssal Depths

  • 2 November 2021
The Ocean is Warming Even at Abyssal Depths

New research by an international collaboration of researchers, including NOAA/AOML’s Renellys C. Perez and Shenfu Dong, both supported by CPO’s Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) and Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) programs, shows that more than 90% of the excess energy injected into the climate system in the past century has been absorbed by the ocean. As a result, the ocean has warmed significantly, at all depths. Using a new moored temperature time series together with historical data, the study reports results of observations confirming that warming trends observed previously in abyssal regions of the South Atlantic persist into recent years in the Vema Channel, a deep narrow passage in the South Atlantic bathymetry, where most of the Antarctic Bottom Water in the South Atlantic flows northward. Published in Geophysical Research Letters, these data also suggest that the warming may be occurring at an increasing rate since the early 2000s.

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