A new study that improves upon pre-2005 ocean temperature estimates has found that the world’s oceans have been heating up thirteen percent faster than previously estimated, and that rate is increasing as time goes by. This new revelation is important, as the oceans absorb roughly 90 percent of the excess heat that the planet is retaining, making it not only an important indicator for how quickly the planet is actually heating up, but it also means that the danger posed by disproportionately warmer oceans is also greater than we feared.
As the data being transmitted by the New Horizons space probe continues to flow back to Earth, scientists poring over the information continue to find new surprises, including possible evidence that Pluto has a subsurface ocean of liquid water. Scans of the western lobe of the dwarf planet’s "heart" show that, for some unknown reason, there is extra mass in the region. This came as a surprise to the researchers: the area, dubbed Sputnik Planum, is thought to have been formed by a meteor impact, meaning that it should have negative mass, as one would assume from an impact crater.
Civil aviation authorities in Mozambique have announced that an American citizen that has been independently investigating the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may have found a part from the missing aircraft. Mozambique’s Civil Aviation Institute president, Joao de Abreu, warns that the part’s identification is still speculative: “It’s very difficult for any crash investigator to confirm which type of plane that piece belongs to.”
Off the West Coast of the United States, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water.
Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters, about a third of a mile down. That is the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas.