The Mediterranean and the eastern Atlantic have never been warmer, a record clearly visible even from space: images provided by European Copernicus satellites, thanks to the Marine Environment Monitoring Service (Cmems), show that relative temperatures at the surface are rising sea levels 3 degrees from the normal reference values for the date of April 10. This data confirms preliminary data provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), which revealed that the global average sea surface temperature has reached an all-time high since satellite monitoring began. Notably, the ocean surface reached a temperature of 21.1 degrees in early April, surpassing the previous high of 21 degrees in 2016.
As reported by the British newspaper The Guardian, in the past three years, the ocean and atmospheric phenomenon known as La Niña has helped to lower temperatures and reduce the impact of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. La Niña is actually the cold counterpart to El Niño and lowers Pacific Ocean surface temperatures by 3-5 degrees, with cascading effects on global climate. However, it seems that this phenomenon is now over and that by the end of the year it will be replaced by El Niño, with a corresponding increase in the risk of severe weather.
“La Niña has come to an end,” says NOAA’s Mike McFadden. “This prolonged cold snap has lowered the average surface temperatures of the seas and oceans. Now that it’s over – Macfadyen adds – we’ll probably see the signal of climate change come through loud and clear.” NOAA data, which does not include the polar regions, comes mostly from satellites, but also from measurements taken by ships and buoys.
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