Things are heating up climate-wise faster than previously thought.
And the quickening pace of global warming isn't just another statistic, warn Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. While 2015 logged in as the warmest on record (average yearly temperatures were almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than during the era before the Industrial Revolution), the uptick in temperature might actually be higher than initially measured -- which would put the planet more than halfway toward a limit that was established in Paris last year to warn against warming that could possibly result in world-wide catastrophe.
The limit in question was set at 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl says that the Earth has moved well past the halfway point, or 1 degree Celsius, that last year's uptick represents.
Just as the scientific community thought it knew where every ocean was located, Chinese scientists have uncovered a new body of water in Northwestern Xinjiang. The water was discovered beneath the Tarim basin in one of the driest areas on the planet, leading scientists to wonder if they should expand the definition of the word ‘desert.’
The water found beneath the basin is the equivalent of ten times all the water found in all five Great Lakes. Scientists theorize the massive amount of water could have come from the mountains above, where melting snow creates a gradual water flow to the basin beneath.
Experts have long warned that the effects of global warming will someday have a dramatic impact on the world’s oceans. Recent research suggests that day may have arrived. A study recently released by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research states that the general circulation of the oceans is slowing down. The implications of this gradual slowdown can be disastrous.
According to the study, titled Nature Climate Change, the consequences of an ocean circulation slowdown could be a significant rise in sea level, impacting areas like New York and Boston. In addition to its other planetary functions, ocean circulation helps drive the Gulf Stream located near the coast of the U.S. The Gulf Stream is a current that transports more water than all of the world’s rivers combined.