Warming of Oceans: It’s Like Dropping 1.5 Atomic Bombs per Second for 150 Years


Researchers from the Oxford University share a terrifying fact many people still believe to be ‘not that serious.’ However, when you hear that the average heating of the oceans in the past 150 years is equal to dropping of 1.5 atomic bombs per second during this period, that is indeed frightening.

Looking back to 1871 and further back, researchers examined the ocean heat. The latest carbon emissions have accelerated in the past 150 years, and haven’t just affected all ecosystems on Earth but also the oceans.

After looking at the report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The Guardian interviewed the lead author of the study – Prof. Laure Zannat, who was alarmed by the calculation:

“I try not to make this type of calculation, simply because I find it worrisome. We usually try to compare the heating to [human] energy use, to make it less scary.”

His calculation showed that the heating of the oceans from 1871 until today is equal to 1,000 times the energy that the population all over the globe uses – the amount of energy trapped by the oceans is 436 ×10^21 joules.

Half of the Warming of the Atlantic Ocean Provoked by Changes in the Ocean Circulation

Since 1990, carbon emissions rose up to 60%, and in the reports from the recent years, over 90% of these emissions are absorbed by the oceans. Human activity, oil and gas drilling, and agriculture are what cause most of the carbon emission.

The heat gathered by the oceans is stored deep, and it causes the rise of the sea level, thus provoking natural more powerful and destructive disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis.

In the past 60 years, the study’s researchers found that the changes in ocean circulation have led to sea-level rise in the Atlantic Ocean and a half of the warming.

Zanna concluded that humans put too much “energy into the climate system and a lot of that ends up in the ocean. There is no doubt.”


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