Why Is Ocean Heat Smashing Records? It’s More Than Just Climate Change.

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The ocean has now broken temperature records every day for more than a year. And so far, 2024 has continued 2023’s trend of beating previous records by wide margins. In fact, the whole planet has been hot for months, according to many different data sets.

“There’s no ambiguity about the data,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “So really, it’s a question of attribution.”

Understanding what specific physical processes are behind these temperature records will help scientists improve their climate models and better predict temperatures in the future.

Last month, the average global sea surface temperature reached a new monthly high of 21.07 degrees Celsius, or 69.93 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a research institution funded by the European Union.

“March 2024 continues the sequence of climate records toppling for both air temperature and ocean surface temperatures,” Samantha Burgess, deputy director of Copernicus, said in a statement this week.

The tropical Atlantic is abnormally warm, helping set the stage for a busy hurricane season, according to an early forecast by scientists at Colorado State University. Higher ocean temperatures provide more energy to fuel stronger storms.

‘It’s Super Spectacular.’ See How the Tonga Volcano Unleashed a Once-in-a-Century Shockwave.

A new simulation gives a detailed look at a shockwave that circled the planet for days.

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