20 Sep '11, 2pm

Oceans kept the last decade from being even hotter

Occasionally, as in the past decade, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase, but the increase in average world air temperatures seems to "pause." (Not that the past decade wasn't the hottest on record -- it's just that climate scientists thought it could have been even hotter.) Now, scientists are figuring out where that extra heat went : into the oceans. Specifically, into the deep oceans, below 1,000 feet beneath the surface. The world's oceans can hold vastly more heat energy than the atmosphere, so this isn't a big surprise, although it's nice to have some confirmation. "This study suggests the missing energy has indeed been buried in the ocean," NCAR's Kevin Trenberth, a co-author of the study, said in a statement. "The heat has not disappeared and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences." What this means for the future is that...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-20-oceans-kept-the-last...

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