Temperatures in the world’s oceans have broken fresh records, testing new highs for more than a month in an “unprecedented” run that has led to scientists stating the Earth has reached “uncharted territory” in the climate crisis. The data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that the average ocean temperature has been around 21.1C since the beginning of April 2023. This exceeds the highest average temperature that was 21C in 2016. Experts warn that this will lead to an increase in marine heatwaves around the world.
Some models are raising the possibility later this year of an extreme, or “super El Niño”, that is marked by very high temperatures in a central region of the Pacific around the equator. The last extreme El Niño in 2016 helped push global temperatures to the highest on record, underpinned by human-caused global heating that sparked floods, droughts and disease outbreaks.