Her Majesty's Ship Challenger set sail in 1872. Stripped of her guns and outfitted for science, her mission was to sail around the globe sampling as she went.
Among other scientific triumphs, the Challenger gathered the first global set of ocean temperature readings, more than 260 in all. The British expedition measured from the surface to a depth beyond 900 meters.
Comparing the data sets, separated by more than a century in time, reveals that, yes, the ocean is warming. On average, the global ocean is warmer by roughly 0.6 degrees Celsius at the surface and 0.1 degrees at depth. The analysis appears in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The extra heat trapped by the pollution from more than a century's worth of coal and other fossil fuel burning is beginning to reach the briny deep. That will have impacts from the survival of sea life to global rates of rainfall. Climate change dead ahead.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]