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Oceans warming 40 per cent faster than UN thought

  • 12 January 2019
  • Author: QT01
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Oceans warming 40 per cent faster than UN thought
The world’s oceans are warming much faster than previously thought, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.
Oceans are heating up 40 per cent faster, on average, than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago, thus pushing ocean temperatures to record highs for several straight years, the study found.
While 2016 and 2017 were record-breaking, “2018 is going to be the warmest year on record for the Earth’s oceans,” said Zeke Hausfather, a climate systems analyst at Berkeley Earth and author of the study.
Oceans absorbed 93 per cent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere, which explains the rapid rise in temperature. “If the ocean wasn’t absorbing as much heat, the surface of the land would heat up much faster than it is right now,” Malin L. Pinsky of Rutgers University said.
The surging water temperatures are already killing off marine ecosystems, raising sea levels and making hurricanes more destructive, the New York Times reports.

In Canada
The Trudeau government has selected an Ontario company to be the first to receive funds under the federal climate plan.
Ottawa will transfer $10 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to Enwave Energy Corp. The company will use the money to expand its deep-lake water-cooling system, a mechanism that uses cold water from Lake Ontario to cool buildings.
“This is a big solution that’s going to make a difference in the lives of people in Ontario,” Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said.
The fund was originally open only to provincial governments, but McKenna allowed the private sector access in November. McKenna’s office confirmed that the money for Enwave was never intended for the province, CTV reports.

Internationally
Washington state has filed objections with the U.S. Department of Energy to the Trump administration’s attempt to reclassify nuclear waste.
The Department of Energy is trying to reclassify a large portion of nuclear waste as lower-level waste, making it possible for authorities to treat it without ensuring its safety in the long term. 
State officials say this would allow the federal government to abandon its responsibility to clean up millions of gallons of radioactive material that are currently buried. 
Washington state is home to the Hanford nuclear site, containing the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste, left over from atomic bomb production.
“This dangerous idea will only serve to silence the voices of tribal leaders, Hanford workers, public safety officials, and surrounding communities in these important conversations,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess.” The proposed measure could cover waste disposal in Idaho and South Carolina, as well, the Independent reports.
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