Study: Oceans Heating up Like ‘3.6 Billion Hiroshima Atom-Bomb Explosions’

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 1945 file photo, a mushroom cloud rises moments after the atomic bo
AP Photo

A study released this week from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, claimed the world’s oceans are warming at the same rate as if five atomic bombs were dropped into the sea every second.

The report also said ocean temperatures “in 2019 were the warmest in recorded human history.”

CNN reported on the claims, set forth in the paper based on global warming models from the United Nations:

An international team of 14 scientists examined data going back to the 1950s, looking at temperatures from the ocean surface to 2,000 meters deep. The study, which was published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, also showed that the oceans are warming at an increasing speed.

While the past decade has been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, the hottest five years ever recorded all came in the last five.

“The upward trend is relentless, and so we can say with confidence that most of the warming is man-made climate change,” Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in the CNN report.

The study stated oceans have warmed steadily between 1955 and 1986 and warming has increased more rapidly in the last few decades. 

“Between 1987-2019, ocean warming was 450 percent greater than during the earlier time period,” CNN reported.

Lijing Cheng, the paper’s lead author and an associate professor at the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, blamed this on humans.

“There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat trapping gases to explain this heating,” Cheng said.

“The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules,” Cheng said. “I did a calculation … the amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions.”

“We are now at five to six Hiroshima bombs of heat each second,” John Abraham, another author of the study, and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, said in the CNN report.

These scientists believe warming oceans prove climate change is real and it poses a threat to the world, including causing hurricanes and other damaging weather even if this connection has not been proved.

“While scientists say man-made climate change isn’t solely to blame for tropical storms, studies have shown that higher temperatures can make them wetter and more damaging,” CNN reported.

Still, these scientists said “there is hope for the future,” according to CNN.

“If we can reduce emissions, we can reduce the warming level, and then reduce the associated risks and loses,” Cheng said.

Unlike some climate change doomsday scenarios that state disaster is facing the planet in less than 12 years, this study gives mankind 15 years.

“If the leaders of the world changed course, a revolution could take place over about 15 years … this requires the leaders of China, and the U.S. in particular, along with Europe, to take a strong leadership role and set the stage for the rest of the world to follow,” Trenberth said.

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