Waters around the UK and Ireland have been classified as experiencing a category 4 (extreme) marine heatwave, as the North Atlantic ocean continues to see extraordinary warmth
Ocean waters around the UK and Ireland are in the grip of one of the most severe marine heatwaves on Earth at the moment, with meteorologists warning temperatures are up to 4°C above normal for the time of year in some places.
The North Atlantic ocean has experienced record-breaking temperatures for the past three months, with average surface temperatures peaking on 17 June at 23°C (73.4°F), 0.2°C above the previous high set in 2010.
Much of the heat is currently concentrated on waters surrounding the UK and Ireland, with scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration categorising the region as being hit by a category 4 (extreme) marine heatwave.
Waters off the UK’s east coast, from Durham to Aberdeen, and off the west coast of Ireland are especially warm. Off Seaham, on the coast of Durham, water temperatures on 18 June hit 15°C, well above the 12°C average for the time of year. Some parts of the UK coast now have waters approaching 20°C, according to Rodney Forster at the University of Hull, UK.