St. Thomas Engineer Magazine

TO UNDERSTAND GLOBAL WARMING, LOOK TO THE OCEANS

By JORDAN OSTERMAN ’11

A new analysis shows the world’s oceans were the warmest – especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 meters – in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history. The study, conducted by an international team of 14 scientists – including School of Engineering Professor John Abraham – from 11 institutes also concludes that the past 10 years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record. “There’s no natural explanation for it,” Abraham said. “It’s been going on for decades at a pace where the only explanation is

human-caused warming. … This isn’t a political football game. This is real data from real temperature sensors spread out around the ocean.” Abraham worked to improve the accuracy of the temperature sensors. He and the other authors published their results in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences , with a call to action for humans to reverse climate change. The research has been published in media outlets around the world, including in The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, Newsweek and Daily Mail. “It is critical to understand how fast things are changing,”

said Abraham, co-author and professor of mechanical engineering at St. Thomas. “The key to answering this question is in the oceans – that’s where the vast majority of heat ends up. If you want to understand global warming, you have to measure ocean warming. “Global warming is real, and it’s getting worse,” Abraham continued. “And this is just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come. Fortunately, we can do something about it: We can use energy more wisely, and we can diversify our energy sources. We have the power to reduce this problem.”

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