Flaw in ocean temperature models suggests climate change could get worse than predicted

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New research conducted by a team of French and Swiss researchers suggests that the estimation of past ocean temperatures might be flawed. The models which were widely used to estimate sea temperatures millions of years ago may be based on a wrong assumption.

In the past, scientists assumed that the sea temperatures 100 million years ago were warmer than they are today – making the current spike in the temperature more alarming.

The study claims that our ancient ocean may have been cooler than previous calculations.

Global warming worse than expected

The study challenged the scientists; they critically studied the chemical process that helped to determine the temperatures in the past. The researcher said that scientists might have underestimated crucial steps when they estimated the sea temperatures hundreds of millions of years ago which led to the wrong results and assumptions that they were warmer than they are.

If the discovery is accurate, it means global warming may be worse than we had earlier thought.

Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth, and they play a crucial role in the climate. It’s important to understand how their temperatures behave and how they varied over time if we must make more accurate predictions about the consequences of the current climatic change.

During the last few years, scientists have grown progressively developing modern techniques to track our sea’s temperature, ranging from a global network of monitoring stations to sophisticated satellite-based technology. Each passing day consistently offers a clearer view of how environmental change affects the oceans.

To enable scientists to calculate how sea temperatures have varied countlessly over millions of years, they traditionally estimate the level of oxygen-18 found in foraminifera commonly known as marine fossils. There is a general belief that oxygen-18 found in calcareous shells was static. These kinds of measurements suggested that the global temperature was about 15 degrees Celsius warmer millions of years ago than today.

The result from the new study opines that the traditional measurement methods are flawed and indicates that there is a periodic change in the level of oxygen-18. The team also discovered that the fossils were not perfectly preserved which proves that the estimates were overstated and incorrect.