Atlantic Ocean had its hottest decade in 3,000 years: Study

The part of Atlantic Ocean as seen from the airplane

New Delhi (NVI): The past decade has seen the Atlantic Ocean’s hottest temperatures in almost three thousand years, according to a new study.

The study published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ USA (PNAS), said that the Oceanic temperatures tend to rise and fall in a cyclical pattern over decades and even centuries.

“But the recent spikes in temperature on the surface of Atlantic Ocean are well beyond the scope of that natural pattern,” the study said, noting that, it’s a dire sign for the state of the oceans, in part because rising temperatures are linked to increasingly-severe hurricanes, the World Economic Forum reported.

The team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Quebec were able to track the Atlantic’s fluctuating temperature back about 2,900 years by studying sediment cores in the Canadian Arctic, which fluctuate along with temperature.

They used temperature data and studied debris from the bottom of the ocean including sediment from melted ice in Canada. Also, the cores showed the regular rise and fall of Atlantic temperatures, but they also showed that in recent decades there’s been an unprecedented increase in the speed at which the ocean is heating up.

“Temperatures have steadily increased since the 15th century minimum; the rate and magnitude of warming over the last few centuries are unprecedented in the entire record, leading to the last decade which was the warmest of the past 2900 years,” the study found.

The team’s study didn’t seek to identify the exact causes of the temperature changes, but given that the recent increases are well beyond normal fluctuations, all signs point to global climate change, which can affect wildlife and ecosystems and mean sea levels rise.

However, the rising temperatures in the Atlantic could also lead to storms, mass extinction for many species and the study suggests the problem will continue to get worse.

-RJV