Tracking ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus

TitleTracking ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
Number10926
Date Published03/2016
Abstract / Summary

Ocean heat uptake is observed to penetrate deep into the Atlantic and Southern Oceans during the recent hiatus of global warming. Here we show that the deep heat penetration in these two basins is not unique to the hiatus but is characteristic of anthropogenic warming and merely reflects the depth of the mean meridional overturning circulation in the basin. We find, however, that heat redistribution in the upper 350 m between the Pacific and Indian Oceans is closely tied to the surface warming hiatus. The Indian Ocean shows an anomalous warming below 50 m during hiatus events due to an enhanced heat transport by the Indonesian throughflow in response to the intensified trade winds in the equatorial Pacific. Thus, the Pacific and Indian Oceans are the key regions to track ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus.

URLhttp://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160330/ncomms10926/abs/ncomms10926.html
DOI10.1038/ncomms10926
Journal: Nature Communications
Year of Publication: 2016
Volume: 7
Number: 10926
Date Published: 03/2016

Ocean heat uptake is observed to penetrate deep into the Atlantic and Southern Oceans during the recent hiatus of global warming. Here we show that the deep heat penetration in these two basins is not unique to the hiatus but is characteristic of anthropogenic warming and merely reflects the depth of the mean meridional overturning circulation in the basin. We find, however, that heat redistribution in the upper 350 m between the Pacific and Indian Oceans is closely tied to the surface warming hiatus. The Indian Ocean shows an anomalous warming below 50 m during hiatus events due to an enhanced heat transport by the Indonesian throughflow in response to the intensified trade winds in the equatorial Pacific. Thus, the Pacific and Indian Oceans are the key regions to track ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10926
Citation:
2016.  "Tracking ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus."  Nature Communications 7(10926).  https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10926.