Record Ocean Temperatures are Boiling off the Charts!

Above is an example of “coral bleaching.” As ocean temperatures rise, the coral ejects algae living inside and the result left shows their bleached white skeleton. Courtesy Getty Images

Greetings! Wow – ocean temperatures skyrocketed in March to their highest levels ever recorded! Gregory C. Johnson, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] said, “It’s remarkable. This is another milestone.”

Matthew England, professor of ocean and climate dynamics at the University of New South Wales, Australia, explained, “The record may not seem huge – it’s nearly two-tenths of a degree higher than the previous record in 2016 – but given how much heat is needed to warm up this huge body of water, it’s a massive amount of energy.” NOAA concurred and said, “early 2023 saw a rapid ocean warming. Ocean surface temperatures reached record highs in early April, surpassing a previous peak set in 2016.”

“These temperatures just rocketed up and people haven’t had a chance to puzzle it all out.” Johnson said.

All the scientists agree “the consequences are likely to be significant. Warmer oceans bleach coral, kill marine life, increase sea level rise and make the ocean less efficient at absorbing planet-warming pollution –the warmer oceans get, the more the planet will heat.”

Announcing the return of El Niño

Scientists feel, “One major driver of the heat is believed to be an approaching – and potentially strong – El Niño, a natural climate fluctuation associated with warming in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which has a global heating effect. The world has just emerged from a 3-year La Niña, El Niño’s cooler counterpart, which has helped mask the full impact of global warming. Since La Niña ended in March 2023, ocean temperatures seem to be on a rebound.” 

NOAA’s Gregory C. Johnson explains, It’s a little bit like we’ve had the freezer door open for a while and it’s helped to cool the planet. But even while that freezer has been open, background temperatures have continued to rise. Now the freezer is closed, everything is hotter than before.”

“Large swaths of ocean were warmer than average in the spring of 2023.

Following La Niña, the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America is experiencing particularly prominent warming, along with parts of the North Atlantic and North Pacific to a lesser extent, recent analysis shows.”

Here’s an Excellent Way to Talk to Kids with “Soft Facts” about Climate Change and Plastic Pollution

One awesome tool for talking to kids about climate change is to read my fourth installment in the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series. It’s titled, Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole HazardIt contains “soft facts” about climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans.

Kobee Manatee Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard – (Lexile Measure:790L)

When you read this award-winning educational picture book to children, it’s a fun and fictional adventure loaded with weaved in “soft facts” on climate change and plastic pollution. This quickly helps children learn about this serious subject in a fun and entertaining way. Here’s a brief synopsis …

Kobee Manatee, the protagonist and his seafaring pals, Tess the seahorse and Pablo the hermit crab swim from the Cayman Islands to Belize. Kobee wants to help his cousin Quinn clean up plastic litter at her new, all-veggie underwater bistro called Quinn’s Seagrass Café.

On their Caribbean journey they encounter harmful effects of climate change and plastic pollution. As if that wasn’t enough, several other unforeseen problems occur with a distressed loggerhead turtle, a giant Portuguese man-of-war, and a venomous scorpionfish. They’re all amazed when they discover the extraordinary Great Blue Hole. Then their adventure takes another crazy turn when Pablo plunges into its huge abyss!

Each page includes in-depth, scientific details on climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans with Dr. Tracy FanaraNOAA Research Scientist (aka Inspector Planet). Tracy can be seen on The Weather Channel and CNN as a visiting expert.

We have Fantastic Reviews on this New Release!

“I read the book to my 6-year-old this morning while he was having his breakfast before school and he loved it! We talked about the characters, what it meant for the pollution to be in the oceans for all the sea creatures, and how fun the story was. Thank you so much for writing such a great story for kids that is not only entertaining, but has a message!” – Jessica Vilchis, Co-Host KNBC California Live

“A well-crafted, thoughtful, and well-illustrated addition to a noteworthy educational book series.” Kirkus Reviews

“Robert Scott Thayer presents an important environmental message in an engaging story with wonderful characters. Anyone who loves the ocean and wants to help save it should read Kobee Manatee: Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard. I’m looking forward to the next Kobee Manatee adventure.”   Readers’ Favorite

For young readers who enjoy imaginative tales surrounding affable and heroic sea creatures, as well as parents and/or teachers looking for a way to introduce youngsters to the importance of marine conservation, Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard offers a perfect blend. Highly recommended– Chanticleer Book Reviews

Keep watching for more of my updates on climate change!

If you see any sick or injured manatee, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC). They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.

Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …

Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …

~ Robert Scott Thayer

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