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How Changing Ocean Temperatures Could Upend Life on Earth

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 7 May 2024

⏱️ 27 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


While many of the effects of climate change, including heat waves, droughts and wildfires, are already with us, some of the most alarming consequences are hiding beneath the surface of the ocean. David Gelles and Raymond Zhong, who both cover climate for The New York Times, explain just how close we might be to a tipping point.

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From the New York Times, I'm Catron Ben Holt. This is the daily.


Many of the effects of climate change are already with us, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, flooding,


but some of the most alarming consequences are hiding beneath the surface of the ocean.


Today, my colleagues David Gallus and Raymond


Jong on just how close we might be to a tipping point. It's Tuesday, May 7th.


David, you've been writing about different aspects of climate change for years, and are definitely no stranger to distressing news about a warming planet, but something about ocean temperatures seems particularly distressing.


What's going on?


Starting last year, scientists started noting something alarming happening in oceans


all around the world. It was warm in the oceans, but it


started to get really hot in ways that they had never seen before. And for the


last year plus I've been checking in with scientists and they are increasingly


concerned perplexed even with what they're seen and when you say oceans are getting hotter, can you just give me a sense of how much the oceans are


warming and how fast?


Well, if you look at a chart that shows, say say the last two or three decades of average sea surface temperatures,


you'll see a gradual warming trend.


But starting last March, we didn't see another gradual increase. We saw this big jump. And from March of


2023 on, it stayed hot and it's just getting hotter and we began 2024 at this much higher level than


we've ever seen before and we're still there and in many parts of the world the


temperatures are still going up as we head into summer.


And that has scientists really concerned.


And you said earlier that none of the scientists that you've been checking in with and


none of these very sophisticated climate models that they're operating with can explain this big jump.


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