Oceans absorbed heat, kept temperature rise steady: Report

Though the last three decades have been the warmest, there appears to be a hiatus in change of average temperature in the last 20 years even as global warming continues unchecked.

Published: 28th October 2013 11:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2013 11:52 AM   |  A+A-

Though the last three decades have been the warmest, there appears to be a hiatus in change of average temperature in the last 20 years even as global warming continues unchecked.

The recently released fifth Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report explains this pause in variation of temperature that may not be reflective of a trend.

“A part of the heat is absorbed by the deep ocean waters at 700 meters depth while the upper levels of the ocean remain cooler,” the report states.

Govindswamy Bala, Associate Professor, Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said at a discussion on the report at IISc that temperature changes are apparent only if examined over longer time periods, say 30 years.

“If one looks at the last 30 years, a steady increase in global temperature is evident. Data of just 10 years may show a hiatus or even cooling periods,” Prof Bala said.

The IPCC report merely summarises five years of research and the fifth report has 14 chapters written by 259 authors from 30 countries. Prof Bala has also written a few chapters in the report.

Prof J Srinivasan, Chairperson of the Centre, told Express, “The hiatus is not completely unexplained. It was just that there were many unexplained factors. Now we have succeeded in explaining the process, partially, just as we have explained the predicted rise of about one metre in sea levels. We need better climate models in order to explain and predict future climate change.”

‘3,000 Decatons Ice Lost in 20 Years’

The report also predicts a steep rise in temperatures and rapid decline in sea ice levels.

It says that 3,000 decatons of ice were lost in the last 20 years. It also notes the contribution of glaciers and ice sheets to the rise in sea levels.

Further, the report throws light on the important roles of soot, methane and black carbon in global warming.

“The report indicates that as carbon dioxide levels rise, oceans will get more acidic. This will have a huge impact on marine life,” Bala said.

“The IPPC report discusses geo-engineering methods such as limiting the amount of sunlight that enters the earth by spraying particles in the air that will reflect it back and removing carbon dioxide by artificial means. Carbon and warming have a linear relation. Future emissions must not exceed 450 PgC to avoid 2 Kelvin global warming,” he warned.

Anil G Kulkarni of the Centre also forewarned, “The report says Himalayan glaciers are retreating at 0.5 per cent per year.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp