Ocean heat absorption highest in waters around Antarctica

12 September 2022

While all the world’s oceans are absorbing some degree of heat, and somewhat moderating the rate of global warming, the Southern Ocean, being the waters that generally surround Antarctica, is soaking up the most excess warmth.

Ocean warming buffers the worst impacts of climate change, but it’s not without cost. Sea levels are rising because heat causes water to expand and ice to melt. Marine ecosystems are experiencing unprecedented heat stress, and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is changing. Yet, we still don’t know enough about exactly when, where and how ocean warming occurs.

Even if carbon dioxide emissions ceased overnight, it could thousands of years for heat trapped in the oceans to be released again.