The world’s oceans recorded their warmest year ever in 2022, surpassing the previous record set in 2021.
More than half of the main ocean regions experienced historically-warm temperatures last year.
The findings come from a report, conducted by an international team of researchers, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences on Wednesday.
Climate change impact
Over 90% of excess heat created due to climate change is stored in the world’s oceans, according to the paper.
This means oceans are particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and can have large temperature increases over a calendar year.
Last year, four of the seven main ocean regions (the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and southern oceans) had their hottest years since the 1950s.
Why are new records being set so often?
The authors concluded that the rise in ocean temperatures was the “inevitable outcome” of energy imbalances driven by climate change.
They also said the regular breaking of annual records was due to “steady and robust” long-term global warming trends, which have accelerated in the past 30 years.