World’s oceans set new surface temperature record

The world’s oceans set a temperature record in the past week, with their surface hitting 20.96 degrees Celsius (69.7 Fahrenheit), European Union climate observatory data showed on Friday.

A general view shows the Santa Monica Pier by the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California, US, on June 19, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Ocean surface temperature reached 20.96C on July 30, according to the ERA5 database, while the previous record was 20.95C in March 2016, a spokeswoman told AFP.

The samples tested excluded polar regions.

Oceans have absorbed 90 percent of the excess heat produced by human activity since the dawn of the industrial age, according to scientists.

Globally, the average ocean temperature has been besting seasonal heat records on a regular basis since April.

“The ocean heatwave is an immediate threat to some marine life. We are already seeing coral bleaching in Florida as a direct result and I expect more impacts will surface,” said Piers Forster of the International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.