Ocean temperatures have reached record values

Both the Pacific and the Atlantic are characterized by well above average temperatures, a record that has persisted since March and is still spreading as of June 2023

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Ocean temperatures have reached record values

Ocean surface temperatures have reached record values. Both the Pacific and the Atlantic are characterized by well above average temperatures, a record that has persisted since March and is still spreading as of June 2023. Not just human activity and global warming.

There is also the Nina, after 3 consecutive years, has warmed the North Pacific and Atlantic through a reduction in westerly winds. At the same time, El Nino developed which in turn produced a warming of the tropical Pacific, especially in the region closest to Ecuador and Peru.

This transition from La Nina to El Nino was very fast so that the warming effects of the two phenomena overlapped. The Tonga volcano put tons of water vapor into the stratosphere; it can provide additional radiative forcing by pumping heat into the troposphere.

Very high levels of water vapor, which is a potent greenhouse gas, have overtaken the northern hemisphere. Although the primary cause of the ongoing warming is due to Global Warming and the effects of El Nino on circulation and the lack of Saharan dust, the debate on the Tonga volcano and on ships remains heated.

Ocean temperatures have reached record values

SO2 is a powerful short-lived climate forcing that accelerates global warming. The cooling effects of aerosols, which reflect incoming sunlight, depend on the surface albedo but also on the latitude.

Above the dark waters of the Ocean they are much more influential. With legislation enacted, sulfur from ships decreased by 90% in 2015. And global sulfur emissions from ships decreased by 80% in 2020. Another factor also derives from the lack of desert dust from the Sahara which is at an all-time low for early June.

It is important to note that it is quite rare to observe El Nino and an anomalously warm Atlantic so that the inhibitory effects on cyclone genesis from wind shear (via El Nino) could be hampered by a much warmer than normal Atlantic.

This would justify why seasonal models would show an active hurricane season in the Atlantic. Atlantic is warmer than average, at record levels since 1980 for both the North and South Atlantic. In particular, warming has undergone a clear acceleration in recent weeks; also in this case, the underlying signal of Global Warming is that due to the circulation that has been established over the ocean and to the radiative effects.

The Rossby waves, driven by El Nino, produced persistent troughs and headlands whose effects were evident on rainfall, winds and cloud cover. In the South Atlantic, where tropical cyclones develop (Main Development Region), the negative Nao circulation has weakened the trade winds and temperatures are those normally recorded at the peak of the hurricane season.