Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds

An analysis concluded that Earth’s oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago, a finding with dire implications for climate change.

Comments: 237

  1. I’m OK at 72 I used to think my grandchildren were screwed now I think my children are screwed.

  2. @Alan I am 56... I keep wondering if I want to be here at 76...

  3. @realityhurts Maybe not. I am thinking seriously whether to recommend to my children not to have children or not.

  4. I’m mid 40’s and I’m worried Mad Max is my future.

  5. God help us all.

  6. @Karen Time to get real - God will be of no help at all. Human beings need to fix the climate change problem by what we do, what we buy, what we eat and how we vote.

  7. @Karen God's been a no-show forever. It's up to humans to develop and use alternative energy, not the Easter Bunny.

  8. @Karen yes, I second that prayer; and it's significant that the line includes both "God" and "us" working together. God and creation are not separate. Right now we need all the Divine Ideas we can get, to solve the climate problem. After all, unbridled science and technology [human thought] along with greed and ignorance got us into the mess we are in now. I pray for higher consciousness for scientists and politicians, that they can receive Divine Ideas for healing this problem, and have the courage to express them and implement them. A famous affirmation is, "The Divine Solution is the Sublime Solution. We accept the Divine Solution now."

  9. Addressing climate change has to be our top priority. It is a true crisis. As a first step, let's repeal the $2 trillion tax cut we just gave to the rich and use the money to cut carbon emissions and start pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, by restoring forests and healing our soils.

  10. @Josey. This is a very good comment that should be taken up as a beginning of the nation waking up to reality that affects every citizen of this Planet , no escaping to toxic political tribalism by brainwashed masses of TV denizens.

  11. @Josey Let's repeal the $2 trillion tax cut AND tax the rich at MUCH higher rates. Remember we have a lot of debt to pay down.

  12. @may21ok Eliminate carried interest and the tax loopholes for the carbon industry sector and repeal all pro-natalist tax provisions. Eliminate the federal flood insurance, especially for rebuilds on the coastal areas that are going under wit sea rise. Time for a huge gas tax increase.

  13. I truly fear for the future safety of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the owners, board members and executives of the oil, natural gas, coal and pipeline companies and their sponsored political “leaders.” As living conditions on our planet become unbearable due to the severe, relentless impacts of Climate Change, generations of devastated citizens around the world will ask: “Who is most directly responsible for this existential catastrophe?” When these citizens look around, they will find many of the culpable carbon barons and carbon-sponsored politicians have already passed on to whatever afterlife awaits them. But the direct descendants of the carbon barons and the carbon-sponsored politicians will still be here. And there will be no escape – not even behind their gated communities – from the wrath of billions of incensed citizens on every continent. For the carbon barons, it all comes down to one essential choice to be made right now: harvest their carbon assets and sacrifice their descendants – or – strand their carbon assets and save their descendants? For the carbon-sponsored politicians, it also comes down to one essential choice to be made right now: continue to dither on Climate Change legislation and sacrifice their descendants – or – pass sweeping and meaningful Climate Change mitigation legislation and save their descendants? The time on the clock is quickly running out...

  14. @Phillip Stephen Pino I feel the same way, but not as optimistic. There is only one choice the carbon barons and the carbon-sponsored politicians will consider and that is whatever option makes them more money right now. There is zero chance they will adopt any other course.

  15. @Migrant FYI: The intended target audience of my original comment is the wives, daughters and granddaughters of the carbon barons and the carbon-sponsored politicians.

  16. @Phillip Stephen Pino Escape is up. Its not inconsequential that many of the wealthiest humans are actively, feverishly, working out ways to leave the planet.

  17. The more we learn, the more ominous it becomes for so many species of plant and animal life. We have to own it. We have to change course and that starts at the top to spur apathy to action!

  18. This does not look good. We are all focused on the atmosphere when it comes to climate change, but in fact the Earth's climate largely consists of an intricately linked atmosphere-ocean system, with considerable energy and gas exchange between the two. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the oceans absorb some atmospheric carbon dioxide, but the warmer the oceans get, the less carbon dioxide they can absorb.

  19. One of the studies I have seen speculates that as the Atlantic Ocean warms, the Gulf Stream will shutdown. This would have bad consequences for the British Isles and Northern Europe. Does this study address that issue?

  20. @Bruce1253 This study only reports ocean heat content data. It does not provide results of ocean circulation models, and thus does not forecast changes in the Gulf Stream.

  21. @Bruce1253 If the Gulf Stream collapses, imagine England having the same climate as Hudson's Bay Canada.

  22. I have one nit to pick. XBT's (expendable bathythermographs) are not lowered into the ocean. They free fall and a thin copper wire spools out on the back. When they reach their final depth, they break off the wire and fall to the bottom. Hence expendable. Depth is estimated by the fall time. Argo floats are much better because they give salinity as well as temperature, and actually measure pressure (depth). Current floats only reach 2000 m, but newer floats are being tested that can reliably measure the small abyssal temperature changes.

  23. Scientists need more funding to address the climate crisis but the GOP, like many right wing governments, is cutting science funding.

  24. The Earth is a marvelous, multifaceted living thing—and it's had enough of us. Our species doesn't stand a chance.

  25. @Patrick Vecchio. We have it coming!

  26. Thank you! I laughed out loud in agreement :)

  27. But yes, please tell me more about how illegal border crossings are the biggest threat to American interests. With Trump and the GOP (read: the 1%) in control of our country, we're a 65 year old, three pack a day smoker insisting everything is going to be just fine. It's not. We're likely already doomed, but if we want to have any hope of saving this place, Earth, for human habitation, global warming must immediately become THE SINGLE most important issue for American politics, and politics around the world. Only with a herculean effort will we preserve our way of life, and that effort must start TODAY. Give up your gas-power car, give up your meat consumption, only vote for people who put environmental issues at the top of their agenda.

  28. @Todd There is no question in my mind that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is the single biggest challenge facing humanity. The gradient in wealth and opportunity between rich and poor people within and among societies and nations is a determent in the political and economic equations of resource allocations, costs and benefits in humanity's response to climate change. Migration has an effect on carbon mobilization. For example, assume that the US population had stabilized in the low 200 millions in the early 1970's when the US birthrate reached replacement levels and the Zero Population Growth movement was active. A simple computation of comparative carbon footprints between the US (about 20 metric tons CO2 per capita per year) and the world (about 4.4 metric tons CO2 per capita per year) over the ensuing years would yield a decrease in net carbon input to the atmosphere on the order of 5 -10 ppm, or about 10 to 20% of the difference above 350 ppm from current levels. This is not inconsequential.

  29. @Todd: Are you preferring alternative wheeled conveyance instead of gas-powered cars? Then what? Electric cars? But they are charged by coal-burning power plants. Think about that. No free lunch there. More widespread rapid transit would help. But that is difficult to implement. Bicycles? I would like that if I were not risking my life from onrushing cars with which I have to share roadways. Walking? I wish. But affordable housing in urban areas is so difficult, and so one must live outside of cities, commonly, where the commute on feet is impractical.

  30. I am 72 and I drive a Tesla electric car and I became a vegan five years ago. I am doing my part. I also use reusable shopping bags, reusable straws, limit my electric and water usage.

  31. I propose an alternate version of Pascal's Wager. Those who still persist in denying global warming should commit to wagering their lives and property on that principle. But, ooh, they already have - and unaccountably choose eternal damnation for not only themselves and their descendants but for all humanity. We are all Thelma and Louise at this point, speeding towards the cliff edge, and although every instinct for survival tells us to take our foot off the gas pedal (literally and figuratively), we evidently can't avoid the abyss hurtling towards us.

  32. Glad I never had kids, I'd be terrified. If this turns very bad--and it seems that it will--the super wealthy, who think they don't need us little people, will find out quickly how deeply they have relied on us.

  33. Thank you this report. Your efforts to share these facts, insights, and implications about our environment are a key part of how we will come to terms with what we must do to keep earth inhabitable. There are no acceptable alternatives.

  34. Man, the most invasive species to inhabit the planet, seems well along the way to extinction. Question is the self-inflicted means. Only question is, "Which of the four horsemen of the apocalypse does ocean warming represent?

  35. The swamp monster!

  36. But let's build that wall!

  37. Does this mean that the Times will stop acting as if the Democrat's corporate-friendly response to climate change is adequate - or will the editors just require that the Dems do better than the Republicans, who don't even acknowledge that climate change exists?

  38. @Ed Watters My money's on the latter. Loser shut's their lights off for an entire year. Also, let's keep writing about who's to blame for Hillary losing the past election. She didn't really lose though, she won the popular vote. Round and round we go.

  39. Official White House response: zzzzzzzzzz

  40. ladies and gentlemen: the real national security threat.

  41. Our president said this is “fake news,” and he never lies. Just ask him.

  42. ...and against these increasingly perilous rapidly unfolding scientific facts, our brilliant leader of the radical right ignoramuses toadies, Mr.Trump, is naming a fossil fuel lobbyist to head the EPA.

  43. Look at the bright side. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

  44. But the Wall will surely save us, right?

  45. ...but building a wall is a crisis.

  46. And, the California fires contributed to the carbon load. More climate issues, more fires. Relieved to see others are as concerned as I am.

  47. Sadly ironic that Trump considers declaring a fictitious national emergency to build an unnecessary wall on the southern border. Climate change is a true global emergency, yet he doing everything he can to make it worse. Here's a (partial) solution for both: Tell Trump he can build as many sea walls around our coastal communities as he wants to keep out the (terrorist, criminal, drug importing) rising sea.

  48. After all, water does boil faster if you put a lid on the pot. Our CO2 lid does not allow the ocean to cool in balance with normal solar warming. Folks will believe the science only when it gets intolerable, like the proverbial frog in the pot slowly heated to the boil, or Miami or New Orleans floods year-round. Darn those Laws of Thermodynamics — something our world-class autocrat can't overrule by executive order!

  49. @MCV207 As it is, my area of SC has been flooded since the hurricane last fall and no end is in sight. I get flood warnings every day. Roads to a favorite walking area are blocked, because the river is flooding ten miles from the ocean.

  50. @MCV207 "...can't overrule by executive order." Nor would he read anything about those Laws (just as he has not read anything about US Laws prior to running for president) and if he were to agree to read them, I believe he'd be incapable of understanding. As I previously remarked at least twice in this venue, I am convinced that he has a serious dyslexia that stands in the way of functioning as a literate, educated member of society. Were he so inclined a competent assessment with prescribed interventions for the problem might still help. Would he be so inclined? Fat chance! (or to quote myself again from previous postings: When pigs fly!)

  51. @Joan Bee I've known many dyslexics who are highly educated, creative, and intellectually curious. Dyslexia is a cognitive quirk that interferes with deciphering and reproducing symbols conventionally, not an intellectual disability that prevents sophisticated thought once the data has been processed. Now, it wouldn't surprise me if Trump had profound cognitive disorders, but that's the least of his defects of mind, intellectually and psychologically.

  52. I don't know what it's going to take to get the republican party to stop playing politics with our lives. We are destroying our own planet.

  53. This is the true “National Emergency” — a global emergency — and should be reported and seen as such. Alas, we rearrange the deck chairs as time runs out.

  54. @Ray well put

  55. Congrats to the the Koch Bros and their alternative reality ilk of climate change deniers. The families of the the insatiable greed crew, pushing out decades of propaganda from the petrochemical industry, will now get to see in their lifetimes the heedless destruction their ascendants have wrought on Mother Nature.

  56. No one, not even the best scientists or computer modeling can predict all of the ways in which climate change is going to change Earth's ecosystems. We are watching nature change in the Anthropocene which has begun, instantaneously on the geologic time scale. My greatest fear is pandemic outbreaks of diseases and the mega blooms of eukaryotic organisms. We have already seen the start.

  57. Climate Deniers will be on the wrong side of history and may they be judged accordingly. The roll back of environmental laws is criminal.

  58. @Dan Thomas. There may be no humans to produce the history. We may leave some geological markers for any intelligent beings that follow our species.

  59. Politicians, business people, lobbyists and propaganda news organisations who deny facts and obstruct necessary initiatives to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions need to be treated as terrorists advocating a dangerous and false ideology and committing crimes against humanity to achieve their ideological objectives - increasing personal net worth at the expense of future generations. Responsible people in all domains of human activity need to recognise that our complex civilization is predicated on stability that is being destroyed by human greenhouse gas emissions. It is essential that we use democracy to strip climate change denialists of their political influence.

  60. It is incumbent on all of us on this planet to do all we can to mitigate the impact of a warming Earth. We must vote for those politicians who are not in the pockets of oil and coal lobbyists. Appointing a coal lobbyist to lead the EPA for example is Trump’s hubris in full display again. How the GOP can support him is beyond me. Our shortsighted approach to our world is creating a problem that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will not be able to solve. Shame on us all.

  61. @Rocco Capobianco Our "grandchildren's grandchildren" might not even be around if the coming climate catastrophe advances at the pace scientists are now predicting. This is no longer a matter of "2100" or beyond--it is happening now, right now, in the 1st half of the 21st century. We are all witnessing it, year after "record high" year. And yet humans seem to be hopelessly unable to face the facts and do anything to try to reverse or at least ameliorate the situation. And that is tragic. Consider all of the technological advances over the past few centuries-- the steam engine, cars, electricity, telephone, phonograph, photography, television, etc. -- and then the extremely fast-paced digitalization over the past couple of decades, with personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc. etc. etc. We have sent people to the moon and into space, we have explorers sending back images from the farthest corners of space -- and yet we are unable or unwilling to care for the only home we have. Just think what could be achieved if all the innovative energy on the planet were focused on somehow reversing this terrible trajectory (via carbon capture etc.). I personally fear that humanity is doomed.

  62. At some point in the near future humans must accept that we are the problem. It is not rocket science to figure out that as long as humans keep reproducing at the rate we are and using earths resources in an uncontroled and irresponable manner our world will shake us off at some point in the near future.. Only with world wide action will human kind avoid extinction that is clear to anyone paying attention.

  63. @Rjnick Human population will decline involuntarily as a result of our refusal to reduce the population voluntarily. 11 billion people by 2100 are projected. Humans migrate when there is a problem. Expect lots more migration by 2100.

  64. @Rjnick What is your solution to our reproduction rate? Killing third-born males? Opening death camps?

  65. @agpb As we have seen in developed countries the birth rate is lower. Once 2nd and 3rd world countries have access to birth control and more advancements for women you will see birth rates lower. Its called progress which I would hope everyone would want.

  66. What did Exxon know, and when did they know it? Will tomorrow's generation put oil company executives in prison?

  67. @Alex Yes, though not just oil companies, chemical companies pollute streams and rivers, and all waters in streams and rivers eventually end up in the seas.

  68. The coral reefs are dying. The cause of this is rising ocean temperatures. Perhaps Donald Trump and his cult need to take a series of science classes and educate themselves.

  69. @susan If only that would work. On the other hand, there's the old saying about leading horses to water and another one about 'none so blind as those who will not see'. We have to address those in power who are willfully blind and determined to ignore not just science but simple observation, decency and sense.

  70. @susan And the krill are dying. The Japanese had better eat all the whales they can, because without krill there are no whales.

  71. Our Caspian Sea is now averaging a higher average temperature in the Winter than it does in the city.

  72. I trust the Republicans will understand in a few years when Florida and the other red southeast states start to flood and we in New England plan to build a wall to keep them out as they migrate north...

  73. @Tom No time like the present!

  74. @Tom In addition, if a Democrat is President when this occurs, cut off FEMA funding to the flooding, red, coastal states for not properly maintaining the height of the shoreline with rakes and shovels.

  75. @Tom When Orlando real estate agents start selling beach front property, expect a caravan from Florida.

  76. The same enthusiasm we had in the 2018 midterms is going to have to be present in 2020 if we are to elect public servants who take climate change seriously. In the meantime, municipal elections are this spring. Does your mayor believe in environmental sustainability? Has your town adopted environmental policies such as maintaining an fleet of electric city vehicles, investing in alternative energy and implementing ways to conserve energy? We MUST think globally when we act locally, because the consequences are coming sooner than we think.

  77. Carbon dioxide pollution includes ocean acidification along with global warming. Someday it might be impossible for anything with bones or hard shells to live in the sea. The single most useful thing most individuals can do to fight this is to vote Democrat. Without the political will to do what must be done not enough will be done in time. All will suffer.

  78. @Richard Schumacher Actually, the single most useful thing is to evaluate each candidate instead of blindly following self-serving partisan advice like "don't think for yourself, vote for my party".

  79. @agpb Sorry but I can't agree with you on this at this point because even if a republican candidate claims to take the human caused warming climate issue seriously, he or she will be under contact pressure to vote with other republicans against these concerns. And quite frankly, if after all that's happened someone still calls themselves a republican today, there's no way I would vote for that person. And since these are the only two viable parties we've got right now, that leaves voting straight democratic.

  80. If Republican Party will become more progressive than the Democrats on environmental issues in 2020. Then you bet I will vote for GOP.

  81. The window of opportunity to avert a global catastrophe seems to be closing more and more rapidly. I can't think of a higher priority than finding the resolve to embrace the Paris Climate Accord. Even then, more changes will be necessary, but the price gets higher with each missed opportunity. David Brower, founder of the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, is generally credited with insight that “we don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” I hope this doesn't become out epitaph.

  82. @Ron Or, even worse, "we steal it from our children" because what remains is not worth returning.

  83. We need to get rid of Capitalism.

  84. Solar Wind Biomass Tidal Hydro Geothermal There's a way out of manmade fossil-fuel mess. Gas Oil Pollution is a giant Greed Over People suicide pill. Good people don't vote for science-denying Republicans. D to go forward; R for suicide.

  85. @Socrates D for Drive (your electric car); R for Reverse! Logically.

  86. @Socrates Biomass? Not so fast.

  87. Wake up, Socrates, Nuclear power is carbon-free, and infinitely more energy-dense than wind and solar. What’s more, it’s statistically the safest, with the lowest mortality rate of all energy sources (geothermal and tidal are marginal and experimental), and nuclear plant construction uses fewer resource materials, while outlasting solar panels and wind turbines three to one, or more. On the clean energy horizon, new reactors, known as Generation 4, utilize liquid fluoride and molten salt technology and are designed to be walk-away safe and proliferation resistant. What’s more, these can run on spent fuel from conventional reactors, and breeder types can even produce their own fuel, and with minimal waste. What’s not to like? If there’s hope of helping the planet while maintaining a decent lifestyle, the solution lies here.

  88. The oceans currently supply about 20% of the world's protein from fish. Some coastal populations rely heavily on fish as a primary food source. Messing around with the oceans could cause massive food shortages for over one billion people. This isn't a situation where they will just eat something else. There is nothing else. You think we have a migration problem now? Add in entire regions that will become too hot for human habitation with coastal areas that have been flooded out and then couple these with loss of food stocks from the sea, and we will soon see certain politicians wanting to build a wall around our entire nation. This what the future holds for us if we don't do anything to stop global warming. All life came from the sea and the sea may have the last word about who lives where.

  89. @Bruce Rozenblit then let them eat beef!

  90. We’re running out of time. We must make the elimination of greenhouse gases the number one political issue. Please contact your representatives and ask them to support the Green New Deal. About one seventh of the world’s population’s primary source of protein is dependent upon the oceans. It’s hard to imagine what is going to happen when a billion people begin migrating in order to survive.

  91. The Gulf Stream conveyer belt process must be one of the geographically closest heat transport processes which will experience dramatic changes sooner than expected.

  92. In other news, the Republicans continue to roll back environmental protection rules, allowing higher carbon emissions into the atmosphere from industries and vehicles. Sad! This is an urgent concern with immediate negative consequences. If the Dems win the WH and keep some control in Congress in 2020, they could reverse damage done by Republican changes to taxes, ACA, education, etc. But, the Dems will not be able to reverse harm done now to the environment and climate. Only time and Mother Nature can, hopefully, fix that damage. On a personal note: I see the current effects of global warming literally in my backyard. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen more than 30 horizontal feet of the bluff near me fall into the ocean due to heavier storms and higher tide levels. I’ve seen homeowners lose land and structures into the ocean. I’ve seen homeowners spend millions of dollars constructing barriers to keep the ocean from undermining the land their home sits on to save their homes. This is new. In the prior 30 years, barely 3-4 feet of the bluff fell into the ocean. Yes, these homeowners are wealthy. They can afford these drastic measures. What about the other people living on coastlines that aren’t wealthy enough to protect their homes and livelihoods?

  93. This is an issue that could benefit from a $5.7 billion investment, don't you think?

  94. That’s not nearly enough.

  95. To those that are blaming climate deniers, you are not wrong, but please ask yourself what solutions have been proposed by our leaders who believe in the scientific consensus on climate change. Very little has been offered that is of large enough scale to make a difference. While Republicans have been denying climate change, Dems have been proposing tiny incremental solutions that will not solve this massive problem. The outcome is disaster either way. Demand that your Democratic representatives in the House and Senate support the Green New Deal! Very few have done so.

  96. @Nick "...any definition of renewable energy must also exclude all combustion based power generation, nuclear, biomass energy, large scale hydro and waste-to-energy technologies..." That's in the letter today to Congress from the Green New Deal. Sorry. That's a bad plan, however well intended. You just can't hand wave your way around the fact that there is no credible storage solution that will allow such a narrow definition of allowable energy resources. 100% carbon free should be the goal. That's impossible enough.

  97. @M Monahan I agree with you, but since The Green New Deal is still a proposal and not a bill, there is still time to try to make it even better. It is not like there is another better idea being seriously considered by anytone in Congress.

  98. @Nick Higher levels of education for girls and women has a very strong impact on (1) later first pregnancy and (2) lower total number of children per mother. Higher education levels generally raises per capita GDP as well, which is nice, and also is pretty strongly correlated to higher ratio of GDP to energy use, which is also helpful. Generally, if I were to pick one single factor to mitigate climate change, it would be: Education of girls. That also happens to be a factor that NGOs funded by wealthy societies can influence in developing societies where carbon emissions are rising fastest.

  99. Even if we stopped gas emission today we are still going to have a rough ride ahead. I’m so sick of our society and it’s inability to work together. And I’m tired of the propaganda from all sides against climate change. If you add a chemical to the environment there is always a consequence.

  100. The only true “fix” for this and all of the other evidence of climate change is to first realize and recognize that we are only discussing the symptoms here, not the problem. The disease is massive overpopulation and demographic shifts in the world which drive the pollution, energy demands etc. which impact the world’s climate. Yes, science must do what it can to alleviate the symptoms, but ignoring the ultimate cause, as it seems every article I read, every treaty that’s signed, every frightening speech and presentation that’s given ignores, underscores the true hopelessness of the situation. And yes, somewhat ironically, this does lead us all back to the scores of unfortunate people trying to get into the United States, against whom our president wants to build his wall. So to all the (appropriately) snarky comments that the wall is going to solve this problem, the irony is that the wall is very much a symptom of the real climate problem.

  101. @Joel Delman Claiming that the base problem is population makes me wonder if you are a climate change denialist in disguise. We are not going to reduce population in the next 10 years to solve the climate crisis. So your thesis may inspire people to yet more inaction. The base problem is our choices of technology platforms for energy and transport and our agricultural practices. The use of oil and coal are choices and given that the sun deposits on Earth in one hour more energy than human beings use in a year, we have an obvious alternative energy source. We just need to make the changes needed to use it. The changes we need to make in agricultural practices will also mean that we abandon certain environmentally costly approaches in favour of more sustainable options. Please read this article for an indication of the scale of annual food waste and the environmental cost of meat and dairy products: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/10/how-much-water-food-production-waste It will give you some hope that we can in fact make changes to agriculture to sustain the Earths population.

  102. The disease in question is addiction to fossil fuels, which is now an epidemic of tragic proportions, and is more dramatically ignored by the mainstream media than most other life-threatening diseases...

  103. It may be helpful to keep in mind that the few dissenting “legitimate” climate scientists in the global warming debate anchor their positions in the difficulty of using computer models to accurately forecast the effects of human activity on our climate. They have used the error factors in the models to sew confusion and doubt about the legitimacy of the difficult and complex work done by other climate experts. The fact that older models seriously underestimated the rate of warming of our oceans should convince us that the dissenting voices are not helpful in addressing the problem – we need to listen to the overwhelming majority of scientists and hedge our bets by doing much more to save the planet than even they recommend. The fact that the results of new computer models of changing ocean temperatures and overall climate are more aligned should support our reliance on climate scientists and give us confidence that we must pressure the politicians and citizens of the world to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other contributors to global warming. As others have said – this is clearly a matter of life and death and we are running out of time.

  104. Keep in mind that the dissenting climate scientists are largely on the payroll of big energy.

  105. Preaching to the choir. No belief required!

  106. Sadly, as a mere recreational scuba diver, I can tell you that. You can feel warmer streams in places, and the coral is not good. Swim to a more protected spot or somewhere that gets cooler water from deeper areas, and the coral is perfect.

  107. IPCC estimates are always overly optimistic and each round they are revised to show matters much worse than previously thought. This is because they rely on scientific studies which, by the time they make it to publication, are already way out of date, in the face of exponentially increasing warming. Also, their models usually account for maybe one or two of the 20+ identified feedback loops that contribute to warming. Finally, IPCC reports are subject to political censorship by each of the contributing countries, so they are not truly scientific in nature. We are headed to a dead planet, and much faster than the media or politicians dare acknowledge.

  108. Our species is amazing, but we're an anthropogenic mass extinction event. Too many of us, consuming too much. It's that simple. We're on track to extinguish the biosphere and all the majestic innocent species who evolved here with us since the last mass extinction. Our hubris, lack of conscience and empathy, and our belief that everything on this planet is mere fodder for us to exploit will lead to the worst crime in the universe: planetary ecocide.

  109. @Steve Davies...I think you're being a little overly anthropocentrically dramatic with the planetary ecocide stuff. The Sun's ultimate demise in a few billion years is going to wipe out Earth no matter what we humans do. That is, if the collision with Andromeda doesn't do us in first. Or, if we don't pass through another supernova particle plume that blocks out solar radiation and turns us into Snowball Earth Redux. Or, as you suggest, if our obsession with global fornication doesn't finally vindicate Malthus. Who knows, euthanasia of our species might be the least painful of our potential futures.

  110. Yes, but let’s not pretend other species are innocent either. Evolution is perennially short-sighted.

  111. As any science-literate person knows, because of the uncertainty that always exists in the data, scientists always underestimate change. So of course it's happening much faster than the official prediction.

  112. @Jay David...Wait a minute. You're telling us NOT science-literate people that because there is so much uncertainty in their data, scientists routinely falsely report their research findings to the public? Not only is the science NOT settled, the science is bogus? You make Scientists sound like a bunch of politicians. Can't trust anything that comes out both sides of their mouths. In the meantime, Earth is being destroyed. That's just great. Thanks, Science.

  113. It's strange that this isn't the first thing on the news every night, the lead story in every morning paper, and the first question at every press conference. Humans are changing the environment so that it is becoming increasingly unfriendly to human life--well, and to a lot of other species, too. And this change is rapid and accelerating. If this all were happening in a 1950s movie, there would be crowds surging toward the White House demanding immediate action, and people at town meetings shouting at their duly elected representatives to do something, and great congresses of the world's scientists discussing how to *immediately* solve the problem. The oil magnate who said it was all a hoax would be the recognizable villain of the thing. As he stands in the town square drunkenly denouncing the precipitate actions of the mob caught up in the anti-capitalist environmental hoax, a young mother would sweep her sleepy-headed child away to safety! So, how did we elect this guy and his group to govern us, and how is it that populist energy and rage are being trained not on the causes of the problem, or the impediments to its solution--but on the very scientists and the media reporting it?

  114. @Michael Joseph There is a one word response to the reason you may not see it on the news every night. It is Capitalism!

  115. @Michael Joseph It's a great observation that climate change should be the lead story on every newspaper and news broadcast but ask who "owns" the news. Rupert Murdoch - an arch conservative and enemy of the common good through Fox News and a raft of other global brands - is enormously influential. There is a profound anti-trust issue associated with the Murdoch propaganda empire and it should be broken up. Even if a media organisation is not owned by a climate change denialist like Murdoch, their dependence on advertising revenues from big business and their focus on market share ratings means many are effectively vulnerable to being persuaded to suppress the climate change story by big-money influencers. Of course conservatives the world over attack the remaining 'free to air public broadcasting' services with the budgetary axe whenever they can because there is nothing so embarrassing as the facts. It's actually hilarious that there is a right wing grievance industry arising around 'anti-conservative media and search engine bias' - somehow they expect their line of lies and distortion to be afforded the same status as fact-based information.

  116. How many evangelical scientists can you name?

  117. If the oceans keep warming up, then why is it that the rate of ocean level rise (~2mm/yr) is the same as that of 150yrs ago, according to tide gauge data? These data indicate that no accelerated warming has occurred, and that the rate of warming is the same now as it was when the Earth was rebounding from the Little Ice Age. But who you gonna believe? Actual 150yr data, or a computer model?

  118. @Carol Gebert The trend in sea level rise doesn't bode well for coastal areas. 1870-1924 0.8mm per year 1925-1992 1.9mm per year 1993-2012 3.1mm per year Currently around 4.4mm per year according to this paper. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/10/104007/meta When you graph the above it looks very much like the beginning of a very non-linear upward curve. Graph of sea level rise through 2012 https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/hansen-sea-level-rise.png
 Graph of post glacial sea level rise, http://vademecum.brandenberger.eu/grafiken/klima/post-glacial_sea_level.png , note the curve at Meltwater Pulse 1A. Ice sheet mass loss, notice the lines curve downwards indicating acceleration. http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/IceSheet/IceMass.png

  119. @Carol Gebert. February, 2018: Global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.

  120. Carol Gebert asks "Who are you gonna believe?" The short answer, Carol, is those who back up their claims with citations and links to respected sources. Unfortunately you didn't do that, so I won't be believing you.

  121. This is not a local problem. Even if you could get US to agree to drastic changes (much more than Paris), how will you get China, Russia, Brazil, India, etc., to agree? Whatever changes we make will be seen 50 years from now. Hope not in any agreement because it won't come. Rather, it will be some type of technology that will make the difference. If this fails than look for the worst. If you wish to know what that is than reflect on history and human nature.

  122. While so far the majority of sea level rise has been from thermal expansion, recently the ice sheets have taken over as the single largest contributor to sea level rise. Of the 130m of sea level rise during the last deglaciation, only about 2m of that was thermal expansion, and the mountain glaciers are gone before they add half a meter, so the only thing on the planet which can deliver large, fast sea level rise is ice sheets. At the current rate of acceleration of ice sheet mass loss of 44Gt/y2 we get 78cm of sea level rise by 2100. Add in 20-30cm for thermal expansion and mountain glaciers and we're already on pace for around a meter of sea level rise by then. The problem is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet which is a threshold system. Once Thwaites Glacier there gets off of its stabilizing sill, perhaps in a few decades, it can take the whole ice sheet in decadal time scales or less and that's around 3.3m of sea level rise from there alone.

  123. Ocean currents and warming are related to the massive introductionof freshwater... while the poles get warmer the tropical parts of the ocean get saltier. Potential collapse may occur but in 2005 it was only thought to be a 5% possibility. The collapse of the Amazon rainforest will contribute greater and quicker. Loss of these forests which essentially create their own precip and potent transpiration cycles that ultimately aid in carbon sequestering will factor more in creating warmer climate. All the data concise and true with scientific modelling up to 2005 is all in Tim Flannery's book The Weather Makers. Whatever.... humans have augmented massive change, mother nature can only take so much. To have that super high balancing act disrupted, with all the world eco-eccentricities on a thin thread...that is going to be a terrible catastrophic price to pay for abusing all the convenience of a modern world. To look at the vastness of the planet you wouldn't have thought it possible.

  124. ...so here is something we can all do, starting today, regardless of governmental policies: eat fewer animal products. Go vegan. Go vegetarian, pesca-tarian, or vegetarian lite. Individually, our biggest impact on the environment and on global warming all goes back to animal product consumption, in profoundly dramatic ways.

  125. This is simply not true. Global warming is caused by fossil fuels.

  126. Animals we eat produce methane which I believe heats more than other carbon emission? That and the methane we produce. Reduce population. Carbon storage. Carbon vacuums. Recycling. Would require us to stop chasing shadow enemies and start living together. Less walls more cooperation.

  127. Global warming is occurring at a much faster pace than life on the planet can adapt to. The last great extinction, the Paleocene period, whose cause mimics much of our present situation, took thousands of years to warm by 5 to 8C, and even then the warming process occurred too quickly for most of the flora and fauna to adapt. By contrast, we are looking at a warming process that, without drastic action, will reach similar levels of warming in one to two centuries. The only positive to our situation is that our warming is due primarily to fossil fuel burning, which can be reduced. So, Pogo is right - we have met the enemy and it is us. Do we humans take what are minor steps in our lifestyles, or do we destroy most of life on the plane?

  128. There are parts of the system that could already be out of our hands. And those parts are related to the ocean. Because we know that we’ve already put a lot of heat content into the ocean. In the case of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, regarding the marine-based ice which is very sensitive to ocean temperatures—West Antarctica 3.3m, East Antarctica 19m—we are likely to end up being committed to some response of the ice sheet to the heat that has already gone into the ocean. Ocean temperature likely controls Antarctic Ice Sheet mass, according to the glaciologist Richard Alley. It's -50 degrees C on parts of Antarctica, warm it up to -45 and who cares? But it is at the melting point at the coast where the floating and thinning ice shelves provide less and less friction constraining ice sheet flow. An increase of just 1 degree C destroyed the ice shelf constraining the flow of the Jakobshavn Isbræ Glacier on Greenland and such an increase is a big insult to an ice shelf almost anywhere on the planet. The Antarctic Peninsula has lost 8-10 ice shelves over the last 25-30 years. When the Larsen B ice shelf broke up there over a 5 week period in 2002 the glaciers behind sped up by a factor of 6 to 8 and are still flowing at that accelerated rate today because the cork was removed. If we sped up all of Antarctica’s glaciers by a factor of 6.5 we’d have 4m per century sea level rise, roughly what occurred for four centuries 14,600 years ago.

  129. All we need to do is get all 7.7 billion people around the globe to agree their quality of life must diminish, thereby slowing or reversing the growth of economic activity that it is at the root of carbon pollution. Should be a cinch.

  130. Stop building war machines and turn the budget to space exploration and negative carbon tech?

  131. We just got back from Kauai, Hawaii and from Koh Tao Thailand. We went diving in both places 20 years ago. It was beautiful back then, a technicolor world under the sea with moray eels, parrot fish, turtles... Now all, and I mean ALL the coral is dead, all gray and brown. The same places we dove years ago in pristine conditions are now destroyed, dead, kaput. Sad.

  132. @ETD2072 Yeah. I did a lot of diving in the 80s. Then 20 years later I dove in Bali and there was more plastic than fish in the waters there.

  133. For a list of global warming solutions and estimates of costs or in some cases cost savings look here https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank Refrigerants and methane much worse than CO2. For climate science, modeling, ocean physics, I have enough relevant education and analytical skills to know that most lay people are not going to understand the intricacies of the effect of greenhouse gases on the temperature of the atmosphere or the ocean. Like most complex topics, we have a cadre of highly capable scientists, computer scientists, and other specialists who can help advance our understanding. This article points out how carefully scientists pursue and examine data both old and new and try to compare it to current analytical models. Analytical models today are vastly more sophisticated than say 2005 due to rapid advances in computer and algorithm capabilities. The earth is huge and spherical coordinates like the earth's atmosphere and oceans have complex equations. Like weather models, climate models are getting better every year. Also satellite data and buoys are being used to validate models, data is now available for many decades with better sensors. Re Gulf Stream, there is evidence that there is more to global thermo-haline circulation than just a few streams, so therefore the collapse of the Gulf Stream is no longer considered as tragic and imminent as before. Google is your friend, but do pick good sources or at least a good variety of sources.

  134. @Innovator Surface waters are warmer and hence less dense than in the depths of the ocean. So it takes a lot of energy to turn the ocean over (takes around 1,000 years). Now as the surface warms faster than the depths it gets harder to turn the ocean over, so it gets more strongly stratified. Nutrient-rich waters from the depths which feed important fisheries like the anchoveta and sardines slow their journey to the surface. And oxygen-rich surface waters slow their journey to the depths and the ocean turns to desert. There's also the problem of fresh meltwater from the ice sheets which has been slowing Antarctic bottom water formation and the AMOC.

  135. @Innovator why would the Gulf Stream collapse?

  136. @bob The gulf stream is powered by the difference in temperature between the north and the south. When the north (attic) is heating up faster, the temperature difference decrease hen the slowing down of the gulf stream. Warm enough in the attic can stop the gulf stream altogether.

  137. At a time when we have so many critical problems to deal all progress is blocked by the obstructionist in the White House and sycophants in the Senate. Our government isn't just failing to institute new programs to address emerging threats to our environment and the survival of our coastal cities, our government is shut down. This administration is committed to undoing any progress we have made toward remedying man-made environmental damage. We are sliding backward, not assuming a leading role in addressing the crises that will result from ocean warming. We cannot just sit on our hands and watch this catastrophe play out, but must do what we can immediately. We must change this administration now, while there is still some hope of mitigating this unfolding disaster.

  138. "We cannot just sit on our hands and watch this catastrophe play out, but must do what we can immediately. We must change this administration now, while there is still some hope of mitigating this unfolding disaster." I wish there were solid reasons for optimism, but regardless of administration I fear the die has been cast. Indeed, yes we should try, and try in increasingly clever and serious ways, but we're simply mammals doing what we're gonna do. Are we not on some level destined to spoil the commons?

  139. @George Ladshaw "... we're simply mammals doing what we're gonna do." Fortunately we are special mammals, and rather complicated ones at that. So, although we are already spoiling the commons, more and more of us are becoming aware of the need to undo te spoiling. Moreover, we haven't yet go a scientific elaboration of Shakespeare's "Hope springs eternal in the human breast". Furthermore, it's now only a few days since the new Democratic majority in the US House has begun to assert itself.

  140. @dutchiris "This administration is committed to undoing any progress we have made toward remedying man-made environmental damage." It does SEEM that this administration is so committed. But truth is that it is committed to getting votes from a base that is ignoring relevant data. So, although it IS true that "We are sliding backward, not assuming a leading role in addressing the crises that will result from ocean warming", what you and I can do, Duchiris, is find the means to educate that base so that it does not re-elect shameless 'orangutans' and con artists. Then our "hope of mitigating this unfolding disaster" will be based on truly practical foundations.

  141. Thank you to the NYT's for covering this story. My one quibble is the placement. Isn't the potential destruction of earth's atmosphere worthy of a leading front page headline?

  142. We have reached the boiling point, eh? The end times, perhaps, as predicted by those Christians?

  143. Fake science. Democratic propaganda. Debunked by the Coal Industry. Pooh poohed by the Energy Lobby. Nothing that Make America Great Again "Trump-gut" science can't fix. Pessimistic reporting like this saps the economy, needlessly scares hard working Americans, smells like Globalist alarmism. The bible tells us we have dominion over the planet. Why, because God wants us to exploit it. He will save us... in collusion with His anointed on earth: the Donald.

  144. This conclusion and article are nonsense. The oceans have 3500 times the specific heat, i.e., heat absorption, of the atmosphere. A simple analogy that even readers of the NY Times might understand would be this. Imagine that the earth's atmosphere suddenly warmed by 1 degree in one year. That one degree of warming would take 3500 years to raise the average ocean temperature by 0.5 degrees. Apparently these "scientists" and the author of this article are scientifically illiterate when it comes to the laws of thermodynamics.

  145. Replying to bob Hey, bob, you sound like a genius! Good thing the oceans can only be warmed by the atmosphere. If solar energy were somehow able to affect them directly, we could be in a heap of trouble! Whoa! Maybe all those scientifically illiterate “scientists” have stumbled across something important!

  146. @bob You honestly don't think scientists understand thermodynamics? You clearly don't understand specific heat.

  147. There’s nothing I, or any individual, can do about that. Only Nation-States can try to deal with this situation. Personally, I’m tired of all the scary climate change news you love to terrify us with. If I could make a difference, I would.

  148. @John L. Barton Well ... who did you vote for? See, there *is* something you can do.

  149. We have to force ourselves to live slower. Stretch out our resources. basically be like a tree, or, boil every creature in the sea, and die.

  150. Now we know what the “deer caught in the headlights” feels like.

  151. Clearly you haven't been paying attention. All of this heat is just a Chinese hoax. Or so The Almighty Trump, the god of the right, has declared. Clearly those Chinese are very good at their hoaxing and are able to generate actual hot water in the process.

  152. To the New York Times: my post should have read,… As many people have said, we may be doomed already. Unfortunately, I believe this to be true. As the New York Times article published in the Times Magazine states, we have all the data we needed collected during 1979 through 1989 to tell us we were killing the planet. I don't think people understand that the Earth is not a renewable resource. While I think the human race, with a sad heart I say this, is doomed to extinction sooner than later, the Earth will probably bounce back like it always has, only homo sapiens will be around to enjoy it. If you're interested in reading the article in the Times magazine, I inserted the link below. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html?emc=edit_ty_20181205&nl=opinion-today&nlid=7318687120181205&te=1

  153. Now THIS is a REAL national emergency!

  154. @Clotario Perfect. Levity aside this is exactly why nothing can be done. A vague threat of uncertain magnitude at some indeterminate future time is never going be tradeable against a definite immediate cost. So if it's death right now (or a gas tax, which for many people would be the same or worse), versus whatever some time in the future, it's going to be "whatever" no matter how bad that "whatever" actually turns out to be. Eat, drink and be merry!

  155. Wow, how could IPCC scientists be so far off? Or are the scientists in the new study way wrong? So much for the science being settled.

  156. @agpb As predicted the Earth is warming rapidly, ice is melting and sea level is rising. The basics are well understood, we're just refining things like the rate and amplitude of impacts.

  157. @agpb Scientists are making do with inadequate resources. The GOP makes absolutely certain of that with their budget cuts and hostility towards scientists doing climate change research. So you are doing the GOP "party toady act" very well today by now claiming that the scientific results are "not settled" because scientists have UNDERESTIMATED the changes. Right wing stupidity apparently knoweth no bounds.

  158. I wonder what the reaction of the Republicans will be: 1) Stick their fingers in their ears and hum real loud. 2) Argue that dumping more pollution into the oceans will decrease their temperature. 3) Build the wall. 4) All of the above.

  159. It doesn’t affect them. They are rich.

  160. Time for action without waiting for governments and politicians to throw money at the problem

  161. Forget the wall; this is the national emergency.

  162. The most dangerous threat from sea-level rise is war. Many countries have low-lying coastlines (Bangladesh, China, central America, Pacific islands), in addition to Western countries like Great Britain, Holland, France, Scandinavia). When sea levels rise to the point of driving people away from their homes (think Bangladesh), these people will have to migrate upland. To India, China, Burma, Russia, etc. These countries will not want to accept the migrants (for economic, population, cultural, and religious reasons), and war will ensue.

  163. @Jay I agree with these points and I think we should ask ourselves, what would our own country do if Americans on the coastlines are driven from their homes due to sea-level rise. Is FEMA prepared for this? Do we have a plan? We are fortunate that we have some states that are not densely populated. Would people be relocated there? How would those states react? So many questions.

  164. @Jay I agree with you entirely. By the end of this century we may have several BILLION climate refugees looking for somewhere to go, and people in the higher elevations wanting to build a wall to keep them out...

  165. @Jay There are all kinds of wars. Climate change -- or more specifically, drought -- is what caused the Syrian civil war that lead to mass migration into Europe, which is now undergoing a war for its post-WWII soul, as its neo-Nazi dregs start to awaken and dismantle the social contract.

  166. The veneer of civilization wears pretty thin after 5 days without food and gated communities will be no protection. Humans often end up fighting over scarce resources and territory. Before the big climate change wars really start perhaps we should “neutralise” the greedy right wing climate change denialist half wits who are orchestrating the avoidable climate change crisis. Of course we should just protest and vote as if human lives depend on it but it is worth reflecting nevertheless that a bullet in time saves nine. Climate change denialists should reflect on the fact that the best thing they will actually ever do in their lives is die. They are unlikely to be alive to hear the deepest condemnations of their bitter legacy created by denying scientific facts and distorting the political process through their big money influence campaigns and propaganda.

  167. @Richard Mitchell-Lowe Climate change denialists should reflect on the fact that the best thing they will actually ever do in their lives is die. Yeah, but before they die, they will have reproduced themselves unto the fourth generation: two beget five, five beget twenty, twenty beget 80, etc. My hairdresser, a huge Trump fan, has 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and she's two years older than me (who has zero anything). It's all in the begetting; that's where the real problem lies.

  168. The biggest threat to global warming is animal agriculture. The desire to eat meat is warming our earth. There are many documentaries explaining this problem.

  169. @Rocky, Actually the burning of fossil fuels is the single largest contributor to global warming.

  170. Single largest contributor to the recently observed increased rate. The single largest contributor to global warming is the sun.

  171. This problem cannot be solved as long as fossil fuels are artificially “cheap.” While there is still much damage lurking in the pipeline, there is still a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but only if we act immediately. We need a predictably rising, revenue neutral, fully refunded carbon fee and dividend with border carbon duties that harnesses the global economy to this task. Check out the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

  172. Most important story of the day.

  173. Completely agree. Instead the first five stories (on my phone app version of the NYT) are all Trump this, Trump that.

  174. Still another reason why I hope that I have no great grandchildren. I love children too much to want them to be born only to witness the beginning of human extinction.

  175. Never mind that we treat the oceans like our toilet. Let’s never talk about that. Climate change, climate change, climate change...

  176. Now, this is a real National Emergency.

  177. Trump is saving me money. I no longer have to move south for warmer temperatures.

  178. We’re going to need a bigger wall.

  179. @JRM, You are correct. It is a mere trickle of humanity arriving today. Give it 20 years.

  180. If Trump and the GOP think refugees at our border is a national crisis now, wait till the environment collapses.

  181. And Republicans are twiddling their thumbs and declaring a pretend National Emergency at the Southern Border while the planet burns up. Why stop at the Southern Border, how about a wall around Canada and a moat around the East and West Coasts.

  182. Here lies a real crisis on our borders and every other countries borders and yet tRump squabbles at a self-serving, self generated fake, undefined and ill-informed immigration crisis' . It's time our government addresses this global issue. Our next congress and president should all be climate believers or eventually we'll all be swimming with the fishes

  183. Let's face it, we are doomed. The only question is who dies and how soon. If you are rich and live in a rich country, you are like the meat-eating dinosaurs, you will survive longer than the rest.

  184. A graph of ocean temperature over time would have been a really nice addition to this article.

  185. Yet another report of the consequences of irresponsible and greedy "adults" wantonly despoiling the planet, and leaving the mess for our children and grandchildren to cope with. We are rapidly burning down the only house that we have, while we are still in it.

  186. Not only does this accelerate climate change, it kills off important food supplies for all sorts of species, including humans.

  187. There is really only one solution for the world at this point, and that is for the US to cease all carbon emissions. (I leave it to the reader to think about how that is done.)

  188. What about that huge amount of cold water coming from the little ice age heading to the equator? It is on the bottom of the ocean.

  189. @Mike Mulligan Colder water is heavier water. They sink.

  190. @Mike Mulligan Sigh, the "little ice age" wasn't an ice age. And it wasn't global.

  191. Regarding climate impacts, faster than expected is now to be expected.

  192. If donald trump truly wanted to protect the American people he would admit that climate change is real, and take action to prevent it. Also, he would admit that gun violence in America is rampant and push to enact sane gun laws immediately. He and the republican party will do neither. SAD!

  193. But how does this affect me and the 52 places that I must go to this year? As long as nothing gets in the way of that, we're good/

  194. The emerald ash borer killed over a thousand ash trees on my land, I don't need radiosondes or melting ice caps, just a tree that doesn't have an invasive fungus or bug to kill it. Still looking.

  195. You've got to be careful when employing computer modeling and simulation (M&S). Your algorithm must be accurate or you get garbage out. If your input data is flawed, but your algorithm is good, you still get garbage out. All M&S and input data need to have validation and verification (V&V) published for others to review. Otherwise you're playing with fire. All M&S associated with climate should have the V&V available for review. If there's no V&V available, be prepared to have your research funding cut.

  196. @Mike What really is the point of your comment?

  197. @jack The point being that, as the cited publication indicates, one must be inordinately careful with data collection and algorithm accuracy. Too many time in the climate debate we see revised output, not based on new data, but revised data. The M&S output becomes a moving target, hence credibility becomes a question. Different outputs doesn't equate to more accurate outputs. Where's the V&V?

  198. So why is this earthshaking climate news buried way down on your website homepage?

  199. There's our national emergency!!!!!!

  200. We have known much of this for quite a while. Specifically, based on the data available in 2012, demonstrating a fairly monotonic rate of warming in the oceans since the late seventies, we have known that the oceans are absorbing heat at a rate of *** 4 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs PER SECOND ***. This was not hard to figure out, and is so incontrovertible that it should end all arguments by climate change deniers that nothing is happening, it's not us, it's not bad, and whatever their next point of contention may be. This study does mean it's even faster -- and worse -- than we thought. Visit http://4hiroshimas.com/ for more info on how scientists determine those numbers, and for an animated, real-time counter showing exactly how fast the earth is warming (measured in atomic bombs!).

  201. @Bob Seriously Bob. You would not be here, nor would any other living thing for that matter, if the oceans (and other parts of the planet and atmosphere) did not absorb energy from the sun. As for the ocean warming out of control. Between 2005 and 2017, the global network of thousands of Argo floats have measured an average temperature increase of the upper half of the ocean of 0.04 deg. C. That’s less than 0.004 C/year, an inconceivably small number. We need to science this, not turn it into scary cartoons or a political weapon.

  202. @Jim "Seriously," Jim, .004C per year is an inconceivably *large* number, when you calculate the amount of energy required to produce it, given the specific heat of water. Just sayin'...

  203. @Jim "We need to science this." Pretty sure this has been sufficiently "scienced" by now, Jim. What's the plan? Just gonna wait and wait for more data before acting?

  204. Global warming is not real

  205. @Cu soon By the end of this century almost all of the Arizona desert will have 150 - 160 as the daytime high, maybe even higher.

  206. Irony or ignorance? Hard to tell.

  207. @Cu soon If you say so it must be true. Any other pearls of wisdom for the 99% who are unenlightened?

  208. Good luck trying to get the ignorant Republicans to embrace this situation.

  209. @Jimmy 5 Fingers Climate change deniers are a smaller group than they were in past years but with the world's #1 economy firmly in their grasp, and with much poverty lower on the list of nations, their power is increasing. Many have tried to argue on behalf of the planet; few have converted anyone. My personal record is dismal: zero of many. I have several conservative friends who are not in denial and who vote R. Ignorance is not limited to R voters, but the R's do seem to have a near monopoly on deniers.

  210. I know you guys won't post my comment if I include the first word that popped into my mind about this. Not good news.

  211. In today's newspaper alone, look at the planetary stories. There is one about 86% of Monarch butterflies have disappeared in a very short time. That is 6 out of 7, a stunning amount. When I think about it, I used to see them growing up in Louisiana a lot; they were ubiquitous. Granted, I was much younger, plus I moved to NY City for almost 30 years, and just came back 2 years ago. As a landscape contractor in Manhattan, we planted many Buddleia (technically Buddleja), or "Butterfly bush", the common name. They smell wonderful and really do attract butterflies by the hundreds. In the north, they typically grow to about 4 to 6', but we usually were planting them in containers. In the south, they can get triple that size and can be very invasive , like Buddleia davidii. You have to be careful, because they can screw up your ecosystem by attracting other insects, etc. that make them not a good choice. It all depends on the container size (on a penthouse terrace or rooftop garden in Manhattan, they won't invade), depending on the variety, size of the container and location. In the ground is another matter. Be careful. This is one thing I have loved about my trade; helping the planet by planting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. I did this for about 40 years, total. We were very careful about what we planted, and didn't use pesticide. We would order ladybugs (yes, you can), and get a small box overnight with 500 in them. Some spiders are good; praying mantis, too.

  212. Marx might have been right after all. Systematic contradictions (i.e. infinite economic growth in a finite world) do seem to threaten the integrity of capitalism/humanity. He might even have been right that the only "solution" is a farfetched one in which humanity consciously reproduces itself. We have the science to get to the moon - I reckon we could probably house, clothe, feed, and care for ourselves without killing the planet upon which we all rely. But if you want to be a realist then look at the bunkers the 1%ers are building all over the world. They are actively betting on barbarism.

  213. Not a very upbeat report, but what else to expect from those recent finds (except to further align and corroborate with earlier reports on this topic) when the steady trend points towards a pretty grim picture looming on the low horizon. Worse at this tipping point, those in power to alleviate those ills at the large scale still rather uncritically concentrate their greedy efforts towards unrelated priorities. In our times and on all levels, animal kingdom in its (once) infinite array pays a dire price for simply cohabiting with humankind, an alpha predator who past zeroing out all others species furthermore have no qualms imperiling the world that has sustained life for billions of years. Sadly, everything goes.

  214. @jeanfrancois very well stated (sadly)

  215. It is true this isn't a very" upbeat" report for a couple of reasons. But it does provide a pure understanding of what is happening with the earths water supply. It is also true that we are the cause of global warming and because of this marine life is dying out. I suggest a solution but it also is a risk. We own many Aquariums, yes but helping wipeout the fish supply would be a big step to the downfall of the earths complete supply. Wiping out the fish, as we all know would also kill off anything that eats the fish. Cloning is also an action that can be taken as it has already. Whales, Turtles, and fish are washing up onto the shore for so many reason its hard to articulate the real reason.

  216. We are the human race version 1.0. Future versions might figure out how to exist here sustainably, but version 1.0 has too many glitches, and environmentally speaking, is a failure. I don't see this getting fixed. We are on an excellerating train toward a brick wall. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

  217. @Gerry You are right. We are the only species that fouls its own nest.

  218. Where is the real evidence that rainier, more destructive hurricanes are becoming more common? More common than when? Got any data going back further than the satellite era? It simply does not help when claims like this are made for very complex weather phenomena, like cyclonic storms that form over oceans, any oceans, where much more than the average ocean temperature comes into play.

  219. @Anna Base I'd love to find more data on that, but they NOAA site is down due to the government shutdown.

  220. @Anna Base Anna, physics doesn't rely on "historical" data. We *observe* that storms intensify over warmer water, in real time. We also have the well established laws of thermodynamics, that predict this effect. So, it is irrational to suggest that a storm passing over warmer water *isn't* more intense because of the warmer water. This is very basic scientific reasoning, and that people don't understand that is an indictment of the poor science education in the USA.

  221. @Anna Base This are data supporting this. I would normally refer you to NOAA’s National Climate Data Center but our brilliant president has “proudly” shut down the government so the web site is not available.

  222. Science is more often right than wrong. Even when wrong they admit their mistakes and study more until they get it right. So if they predict all these things will happen then I would rather prepare. Besides they are likely talking about it on a global scale not necessarily in your specific local area.

  223. @Bill Byrn, I'm so glad that you explained that to me. Because in my "specific local area" none of the catastrophic changes I hear so much about are evident. Not at all. There were more, wilder hurricanes when I was a kid in the 60s. There were intense, unbearable heat waves every summer. The South Shore barrier islands where I spent so many magical days throughout my life are remarkably unchanged; which is amazing since they're never more than a few feet above sea level. They should have been washed away years ago. In fact, the only noticeable change is on the western end of Fire Island where hundreds of acres of new land (called Democrat Point) have been created, naturally, in the last 30 years or so. If you're lucky you'll see a red fox or even a huge roost of black skimmers, one of my favorite birds. And harbor seals in winter.

  224. @laurence - When Sandy's eastern edge was still beating the Atlantic, the storm was raising 20 foot waves here in Lake Michigan - 800 miles away. So while you forget that, and the Halloween Blizzard and rainfall records and so on, here's an NYC City Map - of the areas Sandy flooded. https://data.cityofnewyork.us/Environment/Sandy-Inundation-Zone/uyj8-7rv5 Three cheers for the cleanup of pollution sources and the establishment of more natural areas - it's helping that they're buying out homes and restoring wetlands so there won't be another flooded resident in the worst areas.

  225. It is clear that the acceleration curve of damage from CO2 emissions will outpace the innovation curve. Time to cut emissions, tax carbon, and quadruple down on renewables. It is likely that this alone will not be enough to save our species, but giving our ingenuity more time is the only hope. Worse, our leaders are utterly failing in matching the urgency of the problem. God help us.

  226. When Americans reference their concern for "the unborn", we should all be referencing the multiple generations (and species) that we are sentencing to a hellish existence. Any other use of that phrase is nothing more than foolish emotionalism.

  227. Red Mexican crabs washing ashore in Dana Point, CA, 2 years ago. Other species, including fish, moving north for cooler waters, are the "canaries in the coal mine."

  228. @J Fender don't conflate the consequences of El Nino events, which lead to lots of warm water critters going up the California coast, with global warming, which is exacerbating the impact of the said El Ninos. The coral bleaching events are much more a concern than lobster in Monterey. When the cold California Current returns to normal, those critters get taken care of.

  229. Perhaps contrary to popular wisdom ... Be afraid, be very afraid. That is a healthy initial response to what is increasingly undeniably happening here. Only then will we perhaps be willing to make the sacrifices & common effort we, our children and all the other living things on this planet clearly require in order to preserve what we have left ... Including our future as a viable civilization.

  230. Even a total shutdown of human CO2 emissions right now would not affect the warming, which will accelerate as arctic and sub-arctic permafrosts melt and generate astounding volumes of the 30x more potent Methane gas. Already, millions of sub-arctic lakes are bubbling away, venting methane. Hothouse earth, soon. (Not to mention the 10,000 other ways we are destroying the planet)

  231. @William is correct. A recent article in Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, Oct 2018, entitled "Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene" by Will Steffen and 20 other authors is an excellent review (Overview) paper. Their focus is on "tipping points" ie interaction between effects and non-linear responses, ie chaos. Personally, I don't see the collective will to avoid "Hothouse Earth" We talk, but behavior is not changing quickly enough.

  232. @Robert Perhaps the super-rich actually want to ACCELERATE global warming, just to kill off 4 billion "poor" people? Perhaps they think they can retreat behind high walls with private armies, or on luxury icebreakers (google it) to the Arctic?

  233. The fate of coral reefs foretells the fate of human populations if climate change is not successfully addressed.

  234. @Cowbells No one can argue it’s fake news about the coral reefs!