Tag: OHC by IAP

A Letter to Mr. Neptune

Continuing my series on examining my navel.

Dear Mr. Neptune,

Your oceans of the world are truly breath-taking. The power you can display in the odd wave or million through to the tranquility you so often also display defy rational explanations.

I have had the profound experience of sailing upon your waters, dear Mr. Neptune, over a number of years sailing back and forth between Cyprus and Turkey. Not a long distance but still sufficient to experience being solo on a yacht day and night.

Tradewind 33 – Songbird of Kent. My home for five years.

Then on my way sailing back to Plymouth, SW England, the magical, almost primeval, feeling of being alone on the Atlantic Ocean. Looking up at the night sky, feeling so insignificant, so infinitesimally minute with 500 miles of open ocean in all directions and those stars above my head.

No question, that practically everything about your oceans is beyond the understanding of us humans. Indeed, I had to look up online how much water there is on Earth to discover there is:

It’s roughly 326 million cubic miles (1.332 billion cubic kilometers), according to a recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Because I simply didn’t have a clue.

And knowing there are approximately 326 million cubic miles of water doesn’t help because I am still left not having a clue as to what that means!

So, thank goodness, Mr. Neptune this is all a ‘walk in the park’ for you!

But I do have a question for you.

What do you make of this?

The image is cropped from the following:

The description of these figures is:

Figure. (upper) Change in global upper-level (0–2000 m) ocean heat content since 1958. Each bar shows the annual mean relative to a 1981–2010 baseline. (lower) Annual mean ocean heat content anomaly in 2017 relative to a 1981–2010 baseline.

And it was taken from research undertaken by Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu and found on the web here.

Ocean Heat Content

Owing to its large heat capacity, the ocean accumulates the warming derived from human activities; indeed, more than 90% of Earth’s residual heat related to global warming is absorbed by the ocean (IPCC, Cheng et al. 2017). As such, the global ocean heat content record robustly represents the signature of global warming and is impacted less by weather-related noise and climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña events (Cheng et al. 2018). On the other hand, ocean thermal expansion due to ocean temperature change contributes substantially (30%~50%) to the sea level change, which can considerably influence human populations in coastal and island regions and marine ecosystems. Therefore, monitoring the OHC changes and understanding its variation are crucial for climate change.

Is it possible, Mr. Neptune, that even you as the master of all our oceans is worried about the future?

I hope not but I do fear your answer.

Sincerely,

Paul