John Abraham.

In the News: John Abraham on the Past 12 Months of Record-Breaking Ocean Temperatures

John Abraham, mechanical engineering professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, recently spoke with NBC News about the shocking rise in ocean temperatures observed by scientists over the past year, and what may be contributing to this unexpected anomaly that goes beyond what was anticipated with current global warming levels.

From the story:

Human-caused climate change is likely playing a role, researchers said, but is probably not the only factor. Climate models predict a steady rise in sea surface temperatures, but not this quickly, and ocean surface temperatures also fluctuate and can be affected by natural climate variability, including patterns such as El Niño and La Niña.  

So scientists don’t yet know precisely why sea surface temperatures have climbed so high. 

“I pray we’re having a once-in-a-lifetime year of hot sea surface temperatures, but I do fear there may be something else going on that is causing a long-term change in sea surface temperatures we hadn’t predicted,” said John Abraham, a professor at the University of St. Thomas who studies ocean temperatures. “All bets are off now, this is something that is so unusual, it’s challenging our past expectations.”