Last updated September 27, 2021

Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019

  • States that human-emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) have resulted in a long-term and unequivocal warming of the planet
  • States that — because the oceans are the main repository of the Earth’s energy imbalance — measuring ocean heat content (OHC) is one of the best way to quantify the rate of global warming
  • Presents new OHC data for the year 2019
  • These data reveal that the world’s oceans (especially at upper 2000 m) in 2019 were the warmest in recorded human history
  • Finds that the ocean heat anomaly (0−2000 m) in 2019 was 228 Zetta Joules (ZJ, 1 ZJ=1021 Joules) above the 1981−2010 average and 25 ZJ above 2018
  • Finds that the evolution of OHC shows that the upper 2000 m OHC in 2019 was 228 ± 9 ZJ above the 1981–2010 average
  • The past five years are the top five warmest years in the ocean historically with modern instruments, and the past ten years are also the top ten years on record