Meteorologist: Humanity has reached 'a point we cannot return from' as ocean temperatures soar

Meteorologist: Humanity has reached 'a point we cannot return from' as ocean temperatures soar
Image via screengrab.

Editor's note: A closing quotation mark was added to the final paragraph.

Emmy-Award-winning veteran NBC Miami meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin sounded his loudest-ever alarm on Saturday about the state of Earth's oceans amid record temperatures that were recorded off of Florida's coast this past week.

"This is the first time that I have been overly concerned that we have reached a point we cannot return from, and that's because of those 101-degree ocean temperatures," MacLaughlin said. "That was hotter than any number we saw on the entire planet for the ocean right here in South Florida."

Sweltering sea heat "leads to so many issues when it comes to climate change," MacLaughlin explained. "The six inches of rain yesterday; the twenty-six inches of rain we got a couple of months ago; the air quality up north; the hurricanes; the sunny day flooding; it all comes from the ocean."

READ MORE: 'Could be a world record': South Florida ocean temperature hits 101.1°F

The world's coral reefs — which in recent years underwent multiple mass-bleaching events due to human activity — are in critical danger of going extinct, perhaps as soon as the middle of the 21st Century.

As the World Economic Forum warned in a 2022 study, "At 1.5°C of warming, 99% of the world's reefs will experience heatwaves that are too frequent for them to recover," which "would spell catastrophe for the thousands of species that depend on coral reefs, as well as the roughly one billion people whose livelihoods and food supply benefits from coral reef biodiversity."

MacLaughlin thusly noted that "ninety percent of global warming is stored in the ocean and twenty-five percent of sea life lives in and around the reefs. We call it the rainforest of the sea. Look at all these benefits: Protection; food and shelter for marine life; protection of coastlines when a hurricane is approaching, so the storm surge actually gets tamped down a little bit; education and research, tourism and recreation."

Watch the clip below or at this link.

READ MORE: Why 'pretty helpless' Americans are not panicking about climate change

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