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2018 Was the Hottest Year Ever Recorded for Our Oceans
The year 2018 was the hottest year for the planet's oceans ever since record-keeping began in 1958, according to a worrisome new study from international scientists.
The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, noted that the five warmest years for our oceans were the last five years—2018, 2017, 2015, 2016 and 2014 (in order of decreasing ocean heat content).
This increase in ocean heat is "incontrovertible proof that the Earth is warming," the study states.
To illustrate, the heat increase from 2017 to 2018 alone is roughly 388 times more than China's total electricity generation in 2017, according to a press release of the study.
"The new data, together with a rich body of literature, serve as an additional warning to both the government and the general public that we are experiencing inevitable global warming," lead author Lijing Cheng, an oceanographer from the Beijing's Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in the release.
A slew of recent scientific reports have sounded the alarm on our warming oceans. The same group of scientists behind the current study revealed in Science last week that the world's oceans are warming about 40 percent faster than previously thought.
Also this month, a different team of scientists showed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the average heating of the oceans in the last 150 years was equivalent to the dropping of 1.5 atomic bombs per second.
Earth's seas, which absorb more than 90 percent of the extra solar energy trapped by greenhouse gasses, are vital to our existence. This continued ocean warming has potentially devastating consequences, including sea level rise, stronger and wetter storms and melting polar ice. Marine life, especially coral reefs, are also vulnerable.
"The ocean and global warming have already taken place and caused serious damage and losses to both the economy and society," Cheng said in the press release.
The researchers, who predict that ocean heat will continue to rise, urged immediate action to slow this alarming trend.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Earth Day 2019 just passed, but planning has already begun for Earth Day 2020, and it's going to be a big deal.
Is your closet filled with clothes you don't wear (and probably don't like anymore)? Are you buying cheap and trendy clothing you only wear once or twice? What's up with all the excess? Shifting to a more Earth-conscious wardrobe can help simplify your life, as well as curb fast fashion's toll on people and the planet.
By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)
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'Finally!': Court Orders EPA to Stop Stalling Potential Ban on Pesticide Tied to Brain Damage in Kids
By Jessica Corbett
In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.