NASA study shows extra heat from greenhouse gases trapped in ocean

NASA researchers have been studying the temperature of the oceans around the world in recent years and have found that extra heat from greenhouse gasses has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. According to the researchers on the project, this trapping of heat in the ocean water accounts for the slowdown in global surface temperatures observed over the last decade.

According to researchers Vernica Nieves, Josh Willis, and Bill Patzert from NASA's JPL a layer of the Indian and Pacific oceans that lies between 300 and 1,000 feet below the surface has stored more heat than it has previously. The team notes that the movement of this warm water has also affected surface temperatures.

The team published the results of its study last week. This is an important discovery because the researchers believe that it accounts for why the average global surface temperatures stopped climbing, and even cooled a bit for about a decade in the early 2000s. During the study, the team analyzed direct ocean temperature measurements using data gathered from a network of about 3,500 ocean temperature probes called the Argo array.

Temperature readings show that the Pacific Ocean is the primary source of warm subsurface water, but some of that warm water has been pushed to the Indian Ocean. The researchers believe that there is still strong evidence of unabated global warming.