By Climate Central
When we talk about a warming climate, we often focus on air temperatures. Only 7 percent of the excess energy trapped in the climate system by increasing greenhouse gases goes into the land, air, and ice, though, while 93 percent of that energy goes into the oceans. The water temperature rise is slow and steady, as it takes 4 times more energy to raise the temperature of water compared to the air.
Large sections of the global oceans have warmed 1°-3°F during the last century, with some buoy locations having a more dramatic rise recently. Of the Gulf of Mexico buoys analyzed, the average water temperature from August through October has risen 1°-2°F in the last 40 years.
The buoys analyzed in the Atlantic have warmed even more during that three-month period — 2°-4°F in the last 30 years. While at single buoys the water may have warmed faster or slower than other locations, globally, there is a clear trend towards hotter sea surface temperatures.