Penguins on cracking ice 2

Adélie penguins on cracking sea ice. Photo: Anthony Powell

Record low Antarctic sea ice is another alarming sign the ocean’s role as climate regulator is changing

8 May 2023

A changing climate is upon us, with more frequent land and marine heatwaves, forest fires, atmospheric rivers and floods. For some, it is the backdrop to day-to-day life, but for a growing number of people it is a life-changing reality.

It is now more remarkable when a year is not the hottest since our species began to develop civilisations.

Whenever we experience extreme climate events, it can be hard to engage with the concept that they are minor blips in the planetary experiment we are conducting. But the main act is taking place elsewhere in the oceans, which soak up more than 90% of the excess heat energy.

We are winding up a clockwork spring without knowing exactly when, how fast and how it will unspool. Ocean heating is not so much a canary in a coal mine but a thrashing shark we’ve inadvertently (at least initially) hauled up into our fishing boat.

Read the full article on The Conversation here.