Home / news / Oceans are warming at the same rate as if 5 Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second | Study says that while the oceans warmed steadily between 1955 and 1986, warming has accelerated rapidly in the last few decades. Between 1987-2019, ocean warming was 450% greater than during the earlier period

Oceans are warming at the same rate as if 5 Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second | Study says that while the oceans warmed steadily between 1955 and 1986, warming has accelerated rapidly in the last few decades. Between 1987-2019, ocean warming was 450% greater than during the earlier period

Oceans are warming at the same rate as if 5 Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second | Study says that while the oceans warmed steadily between 1955 and 1986, warming has accelerated rapidly in the last few decades. Between 1987-2019, ocean warming was 450% greater than during the earlier period

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36 comments

  1. I’m having trouble visualizing this. How many Football Fields to the Hiroshima?

  2. On a global scale our nukes are absolutely nothing. Using “Hiroshima Bombs” as a metric is asinine when the amount of energy hitting the Earth from the sun per second already dwarfs that. Using nuclear weapons to scale to anything on a planetary scale is ridiculous.

  3. >Bill Otto, Consulting Optical Physicist and Systems Engineer (1977-present)

    >Answered Nov 9 2018 · Author has 4.3k answers and 10.4m answer views

    >The total solar energy per second on a surface perpendicular to the Sun is about 1350 Joules per square meter or about 0.275 watt-hours.

    >Taking into account incidence angle and the surface area, the effective energy arriving at the Earth is about 1.75E17 Joules per second. A lot of that is reflected away from clouds.

    >Even so, that is about [**2750 atomic bomb (Little Boy) blasts per second**](https://www.quora.com/How-much-energy-from-the-Sun-hits-the-earth-every-second-in-units-I-can-actually-comprehend) or roughly the energy in **one tsar bomba nuclear blast (50 mega-tons of TNT yield)** per second.

  4. Sorry, am British. What is 5 Hiroshima bombs in cups of tea?

  5. First: Phytoplankton dies, oxygen levels plummet

    Second: Ocean dead zones across the world

    Third: Anoxic bacteria spread

    Fourth: Those same bacteria start emitting hydrogen sulfide gasses into the atmosphere

    Fifth: Everyone and everything dies.

  6. 5 Little Boy per second…oh!

  7. > “There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat trapping gases to explain this heating,” Cheng said, adding that to reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 — or 228 sextillion — joules of heat.

    [It’s real](http://howglobalwarmingworks.org/), [it’s us](https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2010/05/natural_anthropogenic_models_narrow.png), [it’s bad](https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter3_Low_Res.pdf), [there’s hope](https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/27/extreme-global-weather-climate-change-michael-mann), and [the science is reliable](https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/even-50-year-old-climate-models-correctly-predicted-global-warming).

    The question that remains now is *what are we going to do about it?*

    The consensus among [scientists](http://bush.tamu.edu/istpp/scholarship/journals/ClimateScientistsPerspectives_ClimaticChange.pdf) and [economists](http://policyintegrity.org/files/publications/ExpertConsensusReport.pdf) on [carbon pricing](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_price)^§ to mitigate climate change is similar to [the consensus among climatologists](http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/) that human activity is responsible for global warming. Putting the price [upstream](https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323611604578396401965799658) where the fossil fuels enter the market makes it simple, easily enforceable, and bureaucratically lean. Returning the revenue as an equitable dividend [offsets any regressive effects of the tax](http://www.nber.org/papers/w9152.pdf) (in fact, [~60% of the public would receive more in dividend than they paid in tax](http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081648#s7)) and allows for a higher carbon price (which [is what matters for climate mitigation](https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/S201000781840002X)) because [the public isn’t willing to pay anywhere near what’s needed otherwise](http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/Is-the-Public-Willing-to-Pay-to-Help-Fix-Climate-Change-.aspx). Enacting a [border tax](http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2026879) would protect domestic businesses from foreign producers not saddled with similar pollution taxes, and also [incentivize those countries](http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/handle/205761) to enact their own. And [**a carbon tax is expected to spur innovation**](https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190827111120.htm).

    [Conservative estimates](http://rdcu.be/cLYO) are that failing to mitigate climate change will cost us 10% of GDP over 50 years, [starting about now](http://policyintegrity.org/files/publications/ExpertConsensusReport.pdf). In contrast, carbon taxes may actually *boost* GDP, if the revenue is [returned as an equitable dividend to households](http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jun/13/how-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-creates-jobs-grows-economy) (the [poor tend to spend money when they’ve got it](http://www.econ2.jhu.edu/people/ccarroll/papers/cstwMPC.pdf), which [boosts economic growth](https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2015/sdn1513.pdf)) not to mention [create jobs](https://econ.ucalgary.ca/manageprofile/sites/econ.ucalgary.ca.manageprofile/files/unitis/publications/1-7729354/Yamazaki_CarbonTax_JEEM_2017.pdf) and [save lives](https://globalchange.mit.edu/news-media/jp-news-outreach/shift-renewable-electricity-win-win-statewide-level).

    Taxing carbon [is in each nation’s own best interest](http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp15105.pdf) (it [saves lives at home](https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09499-x)) and [many nations have already started](https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/29687/9781464812927.pdf?sequence=5&isAllowed=y), which [can have knock-on effects in other countries](http://policyintegrity.org/files/publications/ExpertConsensusReport.pdf). In poor countries, [taxing carbon is progressive even *before* considering smart revenue uses, because only the “rich” can afford fossil fuels](https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers.pdf) in the first place. We [won’t wean ourselves off fossil fuels without a carbon tax](http://news.mit.edu/2016/carbon-tax-stop-using-fossil-fuels-0224), the [longer we wait to take action the more expensive it will be](http://rdcu.be/cZjG). Each year we delay costs [~$900 billion](https://cla.umn.edu/heller-hurwicz/news-events/news/policy-brief-calibrating-price-climate-risk).

    [It’s the smart thing to do](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069698910580), and the IPCC report made clear [pricing carbon is **necessary** if we want to meet our 1.5 ºC target](https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2018/12/SR15_TS_High_Res.pdf).

    Contrary to [popular belief](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluralistic_ignorance#Examples) the main barrier isn’t lack of public support. But [we can’t keep hoping others will solve this problem for us](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_responsibility). We need to take the necessary steps to make this dream a reality:

    [**Lobby**](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/join-citizens-climate-lobby/?tfa_3590416195188=reddit-CarbonTax&utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=CarbonTax) for the change we need. [Lobbying works](https://sociology.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/friends_or_foes-how_social_movement_allies_affect_the_passage_of_legislation_in_the_u._s._congress.pdf), and you [don’t need a lot of money to be effective](http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1016.1967&rep=rep1&type=pdf) (though it does help to [educate yourself on effective tactics](http://www.congressfoundation.org/storage/documents/CMF_Pubs/cmf-citizen-centric-advocacy.pdf)). If you’re too busy to go through the [free training](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/new-member/#climateadvocatetraining), sign up for [text alerts](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/text/) to join coordinated call-in days ([it works](http://www.congressfoundation.org/storage/documents/CMF_Pubs/cmf-citizen-centric-advocacy.pdf)) or set yourself a monthly reminder to [write a letter](https://www.ted.com/talks/omar_ahmad_political_change_with_pen_and_paper?language=en) to your elected officials. According to NASA climatologist and climate activist [Dr. James Hansen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen), becoming an [active volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/join-citizens-climate-lobby/?tfa_3590416195188=reddit-CarbonTax&utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=CarbonTax) is [the most important thing you can do for climate change](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4DAW1A6Ca8), and [climatologist Dr. Michael Mann](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Mann) calls its [Carbon Fee & Dividend](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fee_and_dividend) policy [an example of sort of visionary policy that’s needed](https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/06/03/climate-change-requires-collective-action-more-than-single-acts-column/1275965001/).

    § The IPCC (AR5, WGIII) [Summary for Policymakers](https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers.pdf) states with “high confidence” that tax-based policies are effective at decoupling GHG emissions from GDP (see p. 28). [Ch. 15](https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter15.pdf) has a more complete discussion. The U.S. [National Academy of Sciences, one of the most respected scientific bodies in the world, has also called for a carbon tax](https://www.nap.edu/download/21712). According to [IMF research](https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/how-much-does-world-subsidize-oil-coal-and-gas/589000/), most of the $5.2 trillion in subsidies for fossil fuels come from not taxing carbon as we should. There is general agreement among economists on carbon taxes whether you consider [economists with expertise in climate economics](http://policyintegrity.org/files/publications/ExpertConsensusReport.pdf), [economists with expertise in resource economics](http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.381.484&rep=rep1&type=pdf), or [economists from all sectors](https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Doris_Geide-Stevenson/publication/261884738_Consensus_Among_Economists-An_Update/links/56a7f3fa08ae860e0255a8e3.pdf). It is literally [Econ 101](http://sites.bu.edu/manove-ec101/files/2014/10/EC101Outlines14-Externalities.pdf). The idea [won a Nobel Prize](http://environment.yale.edu/news/article/william-nordhaus-wins-nobel-prize-for-economics-of-climate-change/).
    ___________________

    TL;DR: If you’re not already [training as a volunteer climate lobbyist](https://citizensclimatelobby.org/join-citizens-climate-lobby/?tfa_3590416195188=reddit-CarbonTax&utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=CarbonTax), start now. Even an hour a week can make a big difference. If you can do 20, all the better.

  8. How many rods to the hogshead is this?

  9. Jam some of that there clean coal right down the frozen virus hole and BOOM! dead dinosaur viruses.

  10. Americans will use anything but the metric system

  11. Can someone tell me how many bonfires = one Hiroshima nuke? This metric is confusing to me

  12. Although this is undoubtably terrifying, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Where do people think all the heat generated and trapped by greenhouse gasses and human energy use goes? Water has a specific heat much higher than the gasses that make up the atmosphere. Physics dictates the vast majority of that excess heat will be taken up by water.

    When you burn millions of years of stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuel over the course of a few hundred years, that is a lot of energy injected into the system. Some of it radiates to space, but not all of it….

  13. Water has a high specific heat capacity, and there’s an awful lot of it

  14. Equivalent to 10 hiroshima bombs in two earth oceans.

  15. What’s that anecdote about the frog and warming waters?

  16. If you want scientific units, this is a heat flux of over 300 terawatts.

  17. 5 Little Boys is the equivalent of 145 ovens turned to gas mark 6!

  18. Confession –

    I actually clicked the article, because I didn’t think that CNN would actually publish something headlined with this level of absurd sensationalism.

    yup – they did

  19. Wait how many nukes is that per minute?

  20. There should be a policy to ban global warming denial missinformation

    These threads are always full of them

  21. The issue of nukes exploding isn’t their energy, but the dust. The dust gets blown into the sky and takes a long time to get down. Send enough nukes down and the dust will block the sun and cause a nuclear winter.

    As for the energy itself? That’s so low that it doesn’t matter on a grand scale. Using it in a comparison like this just doesn’t make sense.

  22. Makes sense that as there’s less ice to melt more of the energy will go into raising the temperature.

  23. Fat Man had a yield of 85~ terajoules. The wattage of all sunlight hitting earth is about 3000 times as much.

  24. what kind of a fucking comparison is this!?

  25. Nuclear winter will counter act global warming. Sounds like we need more nuclear explosions

  26. Right-wingers who deny inate change are a threat to ALL of us

  27. Why do people think there is anything unusual happening today that didn’t happen during the last glacial maximum? As the arctic land warms and the Arctic Ocean has more water exposed, temperatures would be expected to increase.

    You have to accept climate change. Look at the graph. Look at 120,000 years ago. It was warmer NATURALLY. We aren’t even at that temperature yet! Soon global temperatures will begin to cool again. Get over it!

    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ContentFeature/GlobalWarming/images/epica_temperature.png

  28. Did Fukushima ever stop leaking?

  29. I’m personally looking forward to swimming in winter

  30. Not disputing the content, but the title kind of reads like one of those dailystar.co.uk headlines. Ill see some crazy headline, hover over the source, and when I see that I go “nah” as the content rarely has anything to do with the headline.

  31. What are you talking about? My fearless leader is telling us that Climate Change is a hoax

  32. There are at least two plausible reasons.

    1. Increase in solar radiation to Earth
    2. Earth’s core is hot. Some heat escapes to the surface of the planet. It’s possible some processes are going on in the earth that are accessing the ocean from underneath and heating them more than in the past. We know that something unusual is happening down there because the magnetic poles are shifting, indicating that there may be large physical processes going on.

    Sure, one could say that man-made reasons such as CO2 are trapping enough heat to match five nuclear bombs per second, but I think that’s not the main cause.

  33. Why can’t they dig a massive hole (like 5 miles wide and 3 miles deep) then create a canal which flows the extra water caused by glacier melt into it?

  34. Everybody is shouting about climate this and climate that.

    Has anyone come up with a practical step by step guide on how the planet can come back from this.

    And I do mean practical. No one is going to all.of a sudden give everything up and countries with a lower standard of living are not going to stop trying to better themselves so we in the West can carry on living our lives pontificating about climate change but doing nothing.

  35. the hiroshima bombs were pretty weak and only killed many people due to the fact most homes were made of wood. Stone isnt so great in a place that gets many earthquakes. wood can flex so it is less likely to break if the home starts shacking.

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