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More than 50% of the world’s oceans could already be affected by climate change, with this figure rising as high as 80% over the coming decades, a new study has shown.

Scientists at the University of Reading, used climate models and observations in deeper areas of ocean worldwide to calculate the point at which changes to temperatures and salt levels-good indicators of the impact of human-induced climate change-would overpower natural variations.

They estimate that 20-55% of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans now have noticeably different temperatures and salt levels, while this will rise to 40-60% by the middle of the century, and to 55-80% by 2080. The study also finds that the Southern Hemisphere oceans are being affected more rapidly by climate change than the Northern Hemisphere, with changes having been detectable there since as early as the 1980s.

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Phys.org: More than half of the world’ oceans already being affected by climate change