Unprecedented Temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean

A recent study claims that temperatures in the North Atlantic were 1.05°C above average in July.

By Elías Thorsson - August 14, 2023
The North Atlantic is warming at an alarming rate. Picture: Milan Boers

A recent study by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), claims that ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic have entered uncharted waters, with July being the warmest on record.

According to the C3S, the North Atlantic was 1.05°C above average in July with unusually high temperatures developed in the northwestern Atlantic, with marine heatwaves developing south of Greenland and in the Labrador Sea. 

Scientists worry that temperature increases could lead to a collapse in ocean currents. Photo: The Copernicus Climate Change Service

“We just witnessed global air temperatures and global ocean surface temperatures set new all-time records in July. These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever more frequent and intense extreme events,” said Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “Even if this is only temporary, it shows the urgency for ambitious efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, which are the main driver behind these records.”

The unprecedented warming is creating serious concern in the scientific community.

A study published earlier this month, by Danish scientists Peter and Susanne Ditlevsen estimated that a warming North Atlantic and Greenland ice melt could cause the collapse of the The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation around the middle of the 21st century. The result of which could be a 5 to 10 degree drop in temperatures in Europe.