Researchers in the UK have studied the tendency for oceans to warm up. To do this, they used an unusual method – they measured the speed of propagation of earthquake waves.
Scientists have found a new way to measure ocean warming using sound waves from underwater earthquakes. They note that their method works because sound travels faster in warmer water. The team studied sound data from the Indian Ocean emitted by earthquakes over the past ten years.
The researchers noticed that as the oceans warmed, the sound waves also increased in speed. Their new method showed that the warming trend in the Indian Ocean was much higher than that of other scientists.
In doing so, they found that 90% of the energy trapped in our atmosphere by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the oceans. At the same time, making accurate temperature measurements in different places and at different depths is a big problem for researchers. They solved it by deploying about 4 thousand autonomous devices that collect temperature information.
The researchers noted that their method does not require large financial resources, since they already use the data that other scientists have collected. At the same time, they can explore the temperature even deeper than usual – even below 2 km.
In their research, scientists have shown that warming in the Indian Ocean over the past decade has been faster than in previous studies. “It is important to emphasize that this is a result that applies to this particular region and to this particular decade,” they note.