The Atlantic Ocean is now the hottest it has been in 3000 years, according to temperatures recorded over the last decade.
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Quebec were able to track the Atlantic’s changing temperatures back to around 2,900 years ago. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, rely on a mix of ice and sediment cores as well as thermometer data to track the state of the Atlantic.
Causes of ocean warming were not pinpointed in the study but climate change is thought to be responsible for warming temperatures all over the world.
Rising ocean temperatures have a huge affect on marine life, with some creatures known to have migrated toward the poles in response to global warming.
And the worst is yet to come, according to scientists. “If we continue the way we are going, the rate of increase in ocean temperature will exceed the rate of decrease in atmospheric temperature,” said Akshay Deo, a professor of ocean sciences at the University of Michigan, in a statement.
Climate change is expected to exacerbate ocean warming over time, meaning the difference between the current situation and the worst-case scenario will be even more drastic.
We must act now to reduce our carbon footprint. We can do this by living a more sustainable lifestyle and choosing low carbon alternatives where possible. We can also encourage our elected officials to take action and vote for policies that put us on track to a low carbon economy.
We urge you to contact your elected representatives and share your concerns about the impacts of climate change.