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News of Climate Change

Ocean surface temperatures reach record high
16th November 2014 | News-IANS
Climate scientists have recorded the highest-ever global sea surface temperatures this year owing to global warming. The Global Warming Hiatus - the 2000-2013 period when the global ocean surface temperature rise paused - is over and as of April 2014, ocean warming picked up speed again, found the study.

"This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded since their systematic measuring started. Temperatures even exceed those of the record-breaking 1998 El Nino year," said Axel Timmermann, climate scientist at the University of Hawaii' International Pacific Research Center. Sea-surface temperatures started to rise unusually quickly in the extra-tropical North Pacific from January 2014. "The 2014 global ocean warming is mostly due to the North Pacific which has warmed far beyond any recorded value and has shifted hurricane tracks, weakened trade winds and produced coral bleaching in the Hawaiian Islands," Timmermann added. In April and May, westerly winds pushed a huge amount of very warm water, usually stored in the western Pacific along the equator to the eastern Pacific. This warm water has spread along the North American Pacific coast, releasing into the atmosphere enormous amounts of heat that had been locked up in the Western tropical Pacific for nearly a decade. "Record-breaking greenhouse gas concentrations and anomalously weak North Pacific summer trade winds, which usually cool the ocean surface, have contributed further to the rise in sea surface temperatures," Timmermann said.

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