A new study released from Princeton University indicates global warming may be accelerating because of under-estimates of ocean heat retention.  In Chatham County, scientists at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography say the new data is startling.  The study is published in the science journal “Nature”, this week.  It says the oceans are retaining sixty percent more heat than they previously thought.  

The new revelation accelerates the predicted consequences of global warning, including melting ice packs, rising sea levels, and many believe as ocean temperatures rise, it will kill off some sea creatures, even here on Georgia’s coast.  Dr. Jay Brandes, a chemical oceanographer, says,  “The more warm the oceans get, the theory goes anyway, that there’ll be less overall life.  Fewer fish, fewer whales, and dolphins, and that sort of thing, that can live in the oceans,”  said Brandes, adding, “The oceans are actually where most of the added heat, um, that is happening due to greenhouse warming is going, it’s not going into the air, ah, it’s not going into the soils or anything like that, about ninety-percent of it is going into the oceans.”

Dr. Brandes says the impacts on weather can take little storms and make them much worse,  “I think we’ve seen a couple of examples of that this year, where we had, ah, hurricanes that were small and because there’s so much heat in the ocean, they go from class one or category two up to category four, category five in a day,” Brandes said.  

The data shared by Princeton researchers isn’t etched in stone.  Dr. Brandes says it will be verified.  “As scientists we always look at these studies and we go, OK, this is interesting.  Let’s see if we can verify it in other ways and that’s exactly what’s going to happen, ah, over the next few years,” said Brandes.