The World’s Oceans Are Off-The-Charts Warm — And The Worst Could Be Yet To Come

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It’s not yet the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and surface temperatures have already shattered records.
Scientists are running out of extreme adjectives to describe the state of the world’s oceans.

Global sea surface temperatures are spiking off the charts. The North Atlantic Ocean, in particular, has for months been engulfed in what scientists have said is an “unprecedented” marine heat wave. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean basin have also been unusually warm. The waters off the coast of Florida topped 100 degrees F multiple times this week — temperatures comparable to a hot tub.

What’s more, some scientists say the worst may be yet to come.

“We’re not even at the height of the summer,” said Svenja Ryan, a physical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. “Typically, the ocean continues to warm until September, so I think certainly we can expect this heat wave to last into the fall.”

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