The Ocean Absorbs Heat

Just as water moderates seasonal changes in temperature, so does the ocean act as a brake on climate change. The earth's water, in liquid form in the oceans and in the form of ice sheets at the poles, acts as a giant heat sink. Energy pours into the oceans and is held there, where it cannot heat up the land. According to University of Chicago ocean chemist David Archer, "the oceans and ice sheets hold so much heat that they take thousands of years to respond fully to changing climate."2

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