Recently we made a graph using Plot.ly which shows that sea surface temperatures are rising. Scary stuff. (You can click the graph for a better view.)
Of course, not really a surprise since global average temperatures have increased 0.74°C during a similar time frame. To see this increase reflected in the oceans, one way to read this graph is by comparing the amount of change to the 1971 to 2000 average line.
This graph shows how the average surface temperature of the world’s oceans has changed since 1880. The shaded band shows the range of uncertainty in the data, which is caused by error during the time the instrumental temperature record was kept by hand. The narrowing of this to a single line prior to 1980 reflects the addition of satellite measurements.
Did you know the ocean plays an important role in slowing increases in the planet’s temperature because it absorbs heat from the atmosphere and warms much more slowly itself?
Want to play around with this data or Plot.ly, the web’s newest collaborative graphing software (which is amazing I must say) yourself? Find this graph here: https://plot.ly/~drewfbush/7/average-global-sea-surface-temperature-1880-2012/