Do Scientists finally have something less than depressing to say about global warming? Hello all! Crystal Dilworth here with DNews and an interesting development in our attempt to understand climate change. The earth’s temperature is rising and the process of this change is complicated to say the least. Greenhouse gases are building up in our atmosphere but global air temperatures have stopped rising proportionally with these gases. So where is the heat going? Because of water’s incredible ability to absorb energy before changing temperature … specific heat capacity? anyone? anyone? … *shrug* our oceans can act as an insulator, absorbing heat, and buffering the planet. Now its true that the temperature at the top of the ocean is warming and expanding, but its not doing so fast enough to explain the slower growth in air temperatures. So could the deep waters and unknown abyss at the bottom of the ocean be taking up the slack? To assay how much the rise of our sea levels and air temperatures was due to the warming and expansion of the deepest ocean waters, Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory combined data taken from space with measurements made on earth.
Ocean surface topography data from the JASON satellites as well as satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment, were combined with direct measurements of ocean temperatures. Now, its really hard to measure ocean temperature at great depths, so researchers used data taken from an army of floating temperature probes jointly called the ARGO array that have been providing information about the surface temperature of our oceans since 2005. From the total amount of sea level rise, researchers subtracted the amount of rise from the expansion in the upper ocean, and the amount of rise that came from added meltwater. The remainder represented the amount of sea level rise caused by warming in the deep ocean…But the remainder was essentially zero!! Apparently, warming in the top half of the ocean is continuing unabated, but Deep Ocean Warming was not contributing to this temperature change … at least not during the years of 2005 – 2013. So what does this mean? Well, for now, it means that deep sea creatures, are not yet feeling the heat from global climate change.
But it also means that scientists will have to look elsewhere for their missing energy. What do you think about this mystery? Subscribe to D News and let us know in the comments down below! You can also come find me on twitter at Poly Crystal H D.