One of the key impacts of climate change on the ocean and seas is increased sea surface temperature. The Copernicus Marine Service time series shows that the average global sea surface temperature has risen by more than 0.3°C since the early 1990s and continues to rise at an unprecedented rate of 0.014 ± 0.001°C per year. In the past four years, we observed the warmest ocean surface temperatures since records began. Sea surface temperature (SST) does not rise homogeneously and thus some regions are more threatened than others.
The impacts of increased sea surface temperature are numerous, notably:
The reduction of greenhouse gases emissions is key to limiting the impacts of global warming on the ocean. The European Climate Law and the Climate Pacttwo components of the European Green Deal, respectively set the target for climate change mitigation in Europe and invite everyone to participate in climate action. Climate change adaptation is as important to address the changes already observed. The European Adaptation Strategy aims at making Europe more climate-resilient. 2021 is an important year for the ocean and climate change. During the online Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 (CAS21) on 25-26 January 2021, participants from countries across the world joined forces to share knowledge, create action and drive the agenda toward a climate-resilient future in 2030. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26 will take place in Glasgow in November 2021. Furthermore, the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development was celebrated on 3 February 2021 with the broadcast of ‘A Brave New Ocean’, a global online event to raise awareness of the immense challenges and opportunities the ocean provides to achieve the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). An interesting year ahead! In the meantime, dive into the Atlas to learn more about global sea surface temperature regional trends.
The data in this map are provided by the Copernicus Marine Service.