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January 14, 2019

Hot waters

Editorial

January 14, 2019

According to a study conducted by the Chinese Science Academy and published in a leading US scientific journal, the temperature in the world’s oceans is rising at a faster pace than ever before. The study contradicts theories put forward that global warming has slowed down over the past three to four years, and warns that it in fact presents a bigger threat than at any previous time. The study has been conducted using a system called ‘Argo’ which consists of 4,000 robotic devices which float across ocean waters, dive down to a depth of 2,000 feet and send back data to researchers. What we find is that some 2,000 meters of ocean water have heated up by about 0.78 Celsius and scientists warn that if this continues seawaters will rise by around 12 inches putting various land masses at risk. We already know that specific island chains such as the Maldives are at risk of being swallowed up by the ocean. In addition to this, the climbing temperatures greatly endanger marine life and the ocean environment – a factor that could result in some species of animals and plants becoming extinct.

Experts say that thermal heat release into the atmosphere is eventually stored in the oceans, resulting in the dangers we face today. They believe that 2018 will in time prove to be the hottest year so far in terms of decline in ocean temperatures. This is a problem we can no longer afford to ignore. Given the highly scientific nature of the evidence collected by various researchers over the past decades, there can be no denying that global warming is a very real phenomenon and will not go away on its own. It also contributes to melting glaciers and ice sheets which further raise the level of seawater.

To prevent global warming the world needs to act together. A joint strategy must be worked out. And it must be led by the most industrialised countries which release the highest volume of gases into the atmosphere and endanger people wherever they live. We need to see this issue being taken up with greater urgency and greater determination to make a difference. If we fail to do so now soon it may be too late to save a planet that is under tremendous environmental strain.

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