Speed Reads

climate alert

NASA discovers that Earth's deep ocean hasn't warmed since 2005

A new NASA study has found that the cold waters of Earth's ocean abyss "have not warmed measurably" since 2005. The study's findings create a "mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years," according to a statement from NASA.

A team of scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, looked at data from satellites as well as direct ocean temperature measurements from 2005 to 2013. The study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that over those eight years, the Earth's ocean abyss — a.k.a. the Earth's cold waters below 1.24 miles — didn't get significantly warmer. "Deep ocean warming contributed virtually nothing to sea level rise during this period," according to NASA's statement.

John Willis, a scientist at the laboratory and co-author of the study, was quick to clarify that the study's findings "do not throw suspicion on climate change itself." The scientists noted that while the temperature of the abyss hasn't risen, greenhouse gases are still accumulating in the atmosphere. And Felix Landerer, who is also a scientist at the laboratory and co-author of the study, added that while the ocean's abyss wasn't warming, the top half of the ocean has continued to become warmer.

"The sea level is still rising," Willis stated. "We're just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details."