A shocking new study reveals that the amount of heat that has been put into the planet's oceans from human activity over the past 70 years is the equivalent of more than 3 billion atomic bombs.
In a journal published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, an international team of scientists determined that the average temperature of the world's oceans in 2019 was 0.075ºC (0.135ºF) higher than the 1981-2010 average. Even a small increase in volume would require a staggering heat influx worth 228 sextillion Joules.
The researchers did the math to contextualize the amount by comparing it to the amount of strength released by the atomic bomb the United States military dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
In a statement, author Lijing Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that the Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with a strength of approximately 63 trillion Joules.
"The quantity of heat we have placed inside the world's oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions," he said.
That averages out to four Hiroshima bombs' worth of strength coming to the oceans every second for more than 25 years. But even extra disturbing, the price isn't holding steady at that alarming figure - it's increasing.
Noting the calculations, Cheng said ocean warming is irrefutable and is further proof of global warming. "There is no other reasonable alternatives apart from the human emissions of heat-trapping gases to explain this phenomenon," the researcher underscored.
Study author John Abraham told Vice that ocean warming in 2019 is equivalent to approximately five Hiroshima bombs of warmth every second of the year.
In case atomic bombs are still too small of a comparative unit, Abraham said the 2019 rate is equivalent to everybody on Earth always pointing 100 hairdryers on the oceans. He said the pace of change is increasing.
Abraham, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, said understanding of how fast things are changing is essential.
"You have to measure ocean warming if you want to understand global warming," he said.
Global warming is "real" and "getting worse," says Abraham. He highlighted some of the recent extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and devastation suffered by ocean animals.
Abraham said the phenomenon is still on the tip of the iceberg for what is to come. He urged the public to use energy more wisely and diversify energy sources to reduce this problem.
Ice is quickly melting, causing sea levels to rise. Dolphins and other marine life are dying because they can't adapt fast enough. The increasing amount of water evaporating into the atmosphere due to heat is negatively impacting the planet.
"[The phenomenon] makes hurricanes and typhoons much more powerful, and it makes rainfall more intense," Abraham said, adding that the disaster puts the Earth's climate on steroids.
Skeptics have primarily dismissed concerns over man's impact on global warming, saying climate change has been going on since the beginning of time. Dangers of a warming planet, according to the skeptics, are being wildly exaggerated and question the impact that fossil fuels have had on climate change.
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