Earth’s oceans are huge heat stores, soaking up 93% of the excess heat from human activity over the past 70 years. Ocean currents redistribute heat around the planet, from the Equator to the poles. Where this ocean heat goes influences weather patterns and regional climate. As well as absorbing heat, oceans are a natural carbon sink, absorbing a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. This has led to the acidification of ocean water, threatening marine life.
The amount of heat and carbon dioxide absorbed depends on a number of ocean variables, all of which can be measured from space.
© Planetary Visions (credit: ESA/Planetary Visions)
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