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Ocean heat hit a record high in 2018, the United Nations said Thursday, raising urgent new concerns about the threat global warming is posing to marine life.
In its latest State of the Climate overview, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reaffirmed that the last four years had been the hottest on record—figures previously announced in provisional drafts of the flagship report.
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But the final version of the report highlighted worrying developments in other climate indicators beyond surface temperature.
"2018 saw new records for ocean heat content in the upper 700 metres," a WMO statement said.
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The agency said the UN had data for heat content in the upper 700 metres (2,290 feet) of the ocean dating back to 1955.
Last year also saw new heat records for the ocean's upper 2,000 metres, but data for that range only goes back to 2005.
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The previous records for both ranges were set in 2017.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the latest findings as "another strong wake-up call" for governments, cities and businesses to take action.
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"It proves what we have been saying that climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it," he said at UN headquarters in New York.
The United Nations is hosting a major summit on September 23 that is billed as a last-chance opportunity for leaders to tackle...
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