Scientists believe they have recorded the hottest seawater ever

No hut tub needed in South Florida this week as scientists believe they have recorded the hottest seawater ever as sea surface temperatures hit 100° near the southern tip of Florida this week.

For perspective, most hot tubs are comfortably kept at 100-102°.

A buoy in Manatee Bay — near the Everglades National Park — recorded a water temperature of 101.1° on Monday evening, after hitting 100.2° a day earlier. While the temperature recorded from Manatee Bay is still considered preliminary, 11 nearby buoys also registered temperatures of around 98° and 99°.

There is no official record for the highest seawater temperature, however, a study in the Environmental and Life and Science Research Center at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research from July 2020 refers to water in Kuwait Bay reaching 99.7° as the “world’s highest.”

Normal water temperatures for the area this time of year should be between 73° and 88° according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which published the findings from the National Data Buoy Center.

This all comes as sea surface temperatures worldwide have broken monthly records for heat in April, May and June, according to NOAA. And as temperatures in the north Atlantic Ocean remain off the charts… as much as 9° to 11° warmer than normal in some spots near Newfoundland.

The steep ocean temperatures have had a devastating impact on marine life in the area with researchers reporting “100% coral mortality” in some areas near the coast. Scientists are already seeing devastating effects from prolonged hot water surrounding Florida — coral bleaching and even the death of some corals in what had been one of the Florida Keys’ most resilient reefs.

The consequences for sea corals are serious. One NOAA researcher found “that the entire reef was bleached out. Every single coral colony was exhibiting some form of paling, partial bleaching or full out bleaching.” Some coral even had died. This comes on top of bleaching seen last week by the University of Miami, when NOAA increased the alert level for coral earlier this month. Until the 1980s, coral bleaching was mostly unheard of now where at a climatological point where “it’s become routine”. Bleaching, which doesn’t kill coral but weakens it and can lead to death, occurs when water temperatures exceed the upper 80s, all noted by the University of Miami.

Parts of the south and southwest U.S. have endured a severe heat wave over the past month with Miami and parts of south Florida remaining under a heat advisory today. This as areas like Miami have had a heat index of at least 100° for 43 days straight. 11 days longer than the previous record according to the University of Miami.

Warmer water is also fuel for hurricanes. NOAA warned earlier this month that the warmer water around Florida could supercharge tropical storms and hurricanes, which build more energy over warmer waters.

What is causing it….El Nino isn’t really the answer since it has just begun. It goes back to what I have talked about many times, a blocking pattern in the jet stream keeping high pressure over the area making these prolonged Heat Waves no longer a rarity.

This surge in warmer waters globally has also led to Antarctic Sea ice to his a “once per 2.7 million year ‘six-sigma’ event” according to Japan’s National Institue of Polar Research and NASA who says Antartica is losing around 150 billion tons of ice per year.

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Acerca de Andrey Robles

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