A study released on March 10 has analyzed data taken from the latest ocean temperature measuring tech
Data accumulated from the Argo Float System (AFS) was analyzed in conjunction with data from the older and less reliable expendable Bathythermographs (XBT).
This enabled the scientists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to endeavor to fill the gaps in the previously less reliable data. What these scientists discovered was horrifying.
Since 1992, the globe has been warming twice as fast as it did since measurements were first available in 1960. Not only that, it is only since 1990 that the effects of global warming have reached immense depths of 700 m.
Humanity Must Act Urgently!
This means that the urgency humanity must act with is even more pertinent. The study revealed that the globe is warming 13% faster than what was previously assumed.
Since the 1980s our use of fossil fuels has increased by 40%, which is wreaking havoc on our planet. The increased carbon dioxide emissions become trapped in our atmosphere, heating up the planet.
The oceans absorb 90% of that heat, and this, in turn, leads to the melting of the ice caps, and a greater propensity for wild storms. In recent times there have been far too many “thousand-year storms” happening on a regular basis.
Expendable Bathythermographs Unreliable
Until 2005, measurements of these ocean temperatures were recorded on expendable bathythermographs. The first nonexpendable bathythermographs were developed in the 1930s for use by the US Navy.
Submarines were able to measure variances in pressure and temperature to affect the accuracy of their sonar. Later this technology proved useful to record climate change data.
However, the XBTs proved unreliable, and the data contained many gaps. Also, data gathering by the XBTs occurred only along shipping routes. These shipping routes were primarily in the northern hemisphere.
Lead author of the aforementioned study, Lijing Cheng’s main motivation was to fill in these gaps by incorporating measurements from the AFS.
Argo Float Systems: Ocean Robots
As of the 14 March 2017, there are 3988 of these AFSs scattered around all the oceans on the globe. They are autonomous ocean robots that sink to a depth of 2 km to gather data of temperatures and ocean currents.
These hi-tech ocean robots then resurface after a set time period. They then transmit their measurements to satellites. Each float costs in the range of $10,000.
Cheng and his team have taken the combined data from both these systems and made comparisons with advanced climate computer models. However, there was still concern that not all of the areas in the ocean were equally being covered.
Nonetheless, oceans contain a memory of climate change, and the distances between the devices are calculable. The more recent and accurate data since 2005 enabled the rendering of wonderful results for the team.
Concerningly, it is the Southern oceans that are heating more rapidly. It is now the time that humanity must act and curb it’s selfish and needless wasting of fossil fuels.
Can We Reverse Global Warming?
The good news is that humanity can reverse global warming. We even have the power to reverse it quite rapidly.
Humans do not need to use the obscene amount of fossil fuels that they currently waste. Alternative energies such as solar and wind power are actually less expensive than coal power.
We need to stop deforestation, stop exploiting our environment for throwaway products. These throwaway products only ever end up in a landfill.
It is the trees that are being felled that absorb carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen. It is like we are cutting away the lungs of the planet.
Humans also need to become more patient and learn to recognize the difference between a want and a need. Our impatience causes us to take car trips for pointless reasons, for example.
We need food, but we want junk food. We need clothing, but we want throwaway fashion that we wear only one time before we discard it.
Recognizing that survival depends on meeting our needs and curbing our wasteful wants is the key to saving our planet.