John Abraham.

In the News: John Abraham on Record Ocean Temperatures

John Abraham, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, was recently featured in The Guardian discussing a global study indicating that the world’s oceans broke another heat record in 2023.

the guardian

From the story:

“Astounding” ocean temperatures in 2023 supercharged “freak” weather around the world as the climate crisis continued to intensify, new data has revealed.

The oceans absorb 90% of the heat trapped by the carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, making it the clearest indicator of global heating. Record levels of heat were taken up by the oceans in 2023, scientists said, and the data showed that for the past decade the oceans have been hotter every year than the year before. ...

“The ocean is the key to telling us what’s happening to the world and the data is painting a compelling picture of warming year after year after year,” said Professor John Abraham at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, part of the team that produced the new data.

“We’re already facing the consequences and they will get far worse if we don’t take action,” he said. “But we can solve this problem today with wind, solar, hydro and energy conservation. Once people realise that, it’s very empowering. We can usher in the new energy economy of the future, saving money and the environment at the same time.”

The extraordinary temperatures in 2023 raised the question of whether global heating was accelerating. But Abraham said: “We’re watching for this but, currently, we do not detect a statistically significant acceleration. Right now, it’s basically a linear increase from about 1995.”

The new study, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, used temperature data collected by a range of instruments across the oceans to determine the heat content of the top 2,000 metres, where most of the heating is absorbed, as well as sea surface temperatures.