Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather

Scientists say temperatures likely to be increasing faster than at any time in past 2,000 years

The world’s oceans reached their hottest level in recorded history in 2020, supercharging the extreme weather impacts of the climate emergency, scientists have reported.

More than 90% of the heat trapped by carbon emissions is absorbed by the oceans, making their warmth an undeniable signal of the accelerating crisis. The researchers found the five hottest years in the oceans had occurred since 2015, and that the rate of heating since 1986 was eight times higher than that from 1960-85.

Related: Floods, storms and searing heat: 2020 in extreme weather

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