Fourth National Climate Assessment

NCA4 Web Site

Warming and Acidifying Oceans

The world’s oceans have absorbed 93% of the excess heat from human-induced warming since the mid-20th century and are currently absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually from human activities, making the oceans warmer and more acidic. Increasing sea surface temperatures, rising sea levels, and changing patterns of precipitation, winds, nutrients, and ocean circulation are contributing to overall declining oxygen concentrations in many locations.