There has been an almost two degree increase in sea surface temperature near the NSW mid north coast, according to data collected by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Ocean temperatures have also warmed over time at least 0.6 of a degree along the New South Wales coast from 1970 to 2021, according to the data.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson there has only been a slight increase in sea surface temperature from November to December 2021 and a two degree increase in waters near NSW over the last three months since September, not in all coastal areas.
Professor John Church from University of NSW's Climate Change Research Centre in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences said water temperatures are expected to rise continually according to a Nature Climate Change study published late last year.
"Even if we take strong steps now to limit emissions to the upper bound of the Paris Agreement target of 2oC global surface warming, ocean temperatures are still projected to rise," he said.
"(The increase would be) five to nine times the observed warming by 2081-2100, with an eight to 14cm rise in sea levels from the expansion of warmed ocean waters alone."
With no concerted efforts to rein in emissions, sea levels are projected to rise 17 to 26 cm from the expansion of warmed ocean waters alone, and further rises from the addition of water to the ocean from glaciers and ice sheets, according to Prof Church.
Australian weather is strongly influenced by El Nino and La Nina climate cycles. The country is currently in an La Nina cycle with increased rainfall, cooler daytime temperatures south of the tropics and warmer overnight temperatures in the north.
There may also be shift in temperature extremes, decreased frost risk, greater tropical cyclone numbers and earlier monsoon onset, according to BoM.
Sea temperature plays a critical role in the life of marine species and warming oceans are causing widespread and severe impacts, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Sea surface temperatures in the Australian region have warmed by around one degree Celsius since 1910, with the Great Barrier Reef warming by 0.8 degrees Celsius in the same period.
Rising sea surface temperatures affect most aspects of the Great Barrier Reef such as the distribution, survival, reproduction, growth, physiology and productivity of marine organisms.
A Weatherzone spokesperson declined to provide comment on the sea surface temperature changes.
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