Triple-digit ocean temperatures in Florida could be a global record

A buoy in Manatee Bay, Florida, reported a preliminary high ocean temperature of 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

ByDaniel Manzo, Teddy Grant, Stephanie Ebbs and Julia Jacobo ABCNews logo
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Ocean temps off Florida top 100 degrees
A buoy in Manatee Bay, Florida, reported a preliminary high ocean temperature of 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit Monday afternoon, according to meteorologists.

MANATEE BAY, Fla. -- Preliminary ocean temperature off the coast of South Florida reached triple digits, which could be a global record, according to experts.

A buoy in Manatee Bay, Florida, reported a preliminary high ocean temperature of 101.1 degrees Monday afternoon, according to meteorologists.

High water temperatures in the ocean are extremely uncommon, however, scientists have categorized the very significant marine heat wave in the region as unprecedented, experts said.

MORE: Ocean heat wave off Florida coasts could decimate corals, marine life, experts say

Relative to temperatures recorded from 1991 to 2020, the waters surrounding South Florida are 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

Neighboring buoys are not reporting the same triple-digit temperature. Those buoys are reading more in the mid to upper 90's, according to meteorologists.

Ocean temperatures have a strong connection to climate change. The United Nations panel on climate change says it's "virtually certain" the ocean has warmed unabated since 1970 and has absorbed more than 90% of excess heat from the climate system.

The last 10 years were the ocean's warmest decade since at least the 1800s, according to NASA.

SEE ALSO: Earth reaches hottest day ever recorded 4 days in a row

For four days in a row, the planet reached its hottest day ever recorded as regions all over the world endure dangerous heat.

2022 was the ocean's warmest recorded year on record and with the highest global sea level, experts said.

In addition to the preliminary reading in Florida that could be a global record, ocean temperature readings are also breaking records in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean this week.

Maritime heat wave conditions are forecasted to continue through September in the North Atlantic, and may last until the end of the year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oceans all over the world are experiencing warmer-than-normal temperatures, with 44% of the global ocean currently experiencing a maritime heat wave, according to NOAA.

For over a month, dangerous heat indexes have blanketed Florida. Miami hit a heat index, or the feels-like temperature, of 108 degrees on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Last week, triple-digit heat indexes extended a record that Miami had broken the week before, according to the National Weather Service.

"When you're breaking records by such large margins, that's what makes it alarming. We're not even close to what the previous record was, let alone the average," Brian McNaldy, senior research associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, told ABC News last week.

While land temperatures were about 95 degrees in South Florida last week, ocean temperatures clocked in at about 94 degrees -- up 7 degrees warmer than they should be this time of year. Water temperatures do not typically measure this high until late August or early September, according to experts.

ABC News' Ginger Zee contributed to this report.