Unprecedented Daily Ocean Heat Records Set for an Entire Year: Global Warming’s Marine Impact


 For the past year, the world’s oceans have been charting new territory in warmth, setting daily temperature records since mid-March of the previous year. This trend, confirmed by NOAA and the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, raises alarms for both marine ecosystems and global weather patterns.

Joel Hirschi of the UK’s National Oceanography Centre notes the significant leap in sea surface temperatures in 2023 and 2024, while NOAA’s Gregory C. Johnson highlights a substantial 0.25°C increase in 2023’s global average ocean temperatures—a jump akin to two decades of warming condensed into one year.

The escalation in oceanic heat, driven by anthropogenic climate change and intensified by El Niño, poses severe risks. It amplifies extreme weather events, from hurricanes to heatwaves and heavy rains, and wreaks havoc on marine biodiversity. The Great Barrier Reef, for instance, is undergoing its seventh mass bleaching, a phenomenon where corals expel their symbiotic algae due to prolonged heat exposure, leading to potential starvation and death.

A line chart where each line shows daily average sea surface temperatures for years between 1982 and 2024 (up to March 16).