2018 was hottest year on record for oceans

2018 was hottest year on record for oceans
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Ocean temperatures in 2018 were the highest ever recorded, according to figures released Wednesday by a group of international scientists.

Last year's levels surpassed the previous record, set in 2017. Record-keeping began in 1958.

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According to the new figures, published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, the 2018 temperatures mean the last five years were the warmest on record.

The authors said the findings confirm “the perspective that ocean warming continues and has been accelerating since the 1990s.”

“Increases in ocean heat are incontrovertible proof that the Earth is warming,” the authors wrote in the report. “The long-term trend of ocean heat is a major concern both in the scientific community and for the public at large.”

Global warming is a consequence of greenhouse gas trapping of heat radiation, according to the report. The authors linked global warming to human activities that emit heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere and "produce an energy imbalance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing longwave radiation that leads to global heating.”

“In 2018, the world experienced a number of major tropical storms, some of which developed very rapidly and many caused death and destruction,” the authors wrote. “Hurricanes and other storms are natural phenomena and they are affected by many other factors besides ocean changes, but conditions allowing for the formation of severe hurricanes are occurring more often because of the record high [ocean heat content], with increases in intensity, lifetime, size, and especially increases in heavy rainfall."

The report comes just months after the Trump administration released a climate report warning of potential disaster from climate change if the U.S. doesn't change its policies.