Editor’s note: A new study by scientists in the United States, China, France, and Germany estimates that the world’s oceans have absorbed much more excess heat from human-induced climate change than researchers had estimated up to now. This finding suggests that global warming may be even more advanced than previously thought. Atmospheric scientist Scott Denning explains how the new report arrived at this result and what it implies about the pace of climate change.

How do scientists measure ocean temperature and estimate how climate change is affecting it?

They use thermometers attached to thousands of bobbing robots floating at controlled depths throughout the oceans. This system of “Argo floats” was launched in the year 2000, and there are now about 4,000 of the floating instruments.

Read More… Climate Change: 5 Things to Know About Rapid Ocean Warming

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