The world's oceans are warming 13 per cent faster than scientists previously thought, a study has warned.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, also found the rate of ocean warming had changed significantly over the last 60 years.
The warming rate from 1992 was found to be almost twice as great as the warming rate from 1960.
"In other words, the planet is warming quite a lot more than we thought," Keven Trenberth, a co-author of the study, said.
Scientists are concerned by such an increase, as 90 per cent of the extra heat absorbed by greenhouse gasses ends up in the ocean, meaning it is considered one of the most important measurements of global warming.
"We know the oceans are much warmer now and they contain the memory of climate change. Higher sea surface temperatures are continually reinforced by the extra heat beneath the ocean surface," the team wrote in a press release.
"The oceans are affecting weather and climate through more intense rains. This process is a major reason why 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded at the Earth’s surface, beating out 2015 which was the previous record.
"Additionally 2015 was a year with record hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, and wild-fires around the world."